A common misconception is that it is safer to flush expired or unused pills down the toilet to avoid children or pets getting into them, but it is actually safer to dispose of medication in the garbage. When pills are flushed down the toilet, the chemicals are spread into the water supply which has become a major environmental problem the last few years. A study done by the United States Geological Survey found that out of 139 streams sampled in over 30 states, 80% of them had low concentrations of chemicals found in many common prescription medications. While these concentrations are low they can have a great effect on our environment and future. Your local Roto-Rooter has some ways to properly and safely dispose of over the counter and prescription medications:
- Remove all personal information from the bottle, by either peeling off the label or blacking out the information on the label with a permanent marker.
- Whether there are pills left in the container or not, it is smart to fill it up with water and an absorbent material like cat litter or baking soda to show no intent for reuse or refill of the bottle. Once full, place a strip of tape over the lid to secure it down and avoid future leakage.
- If the bottle is fragile or glass it is best it put it into a resealable container (such as an old butter or cool whip container), place into a plastic bag, secure and dispose of it in the garbage.
- For expired over the counter pills and vitamins, it is best to put them all into a sealable plastic bag, secure it and throw it in the trash.
Practice proper disposal of all prescription and over-the-counter medications.
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