The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Pharmacists Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have created the SMARxT DISPOSAL campaign to educate consumers about how to dispose of medicines in a safe and environmentally protective manner.

A few small steps can make an important difference in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment.

  • Follow your medication prescriber’s instructions and use all medications as instructed. If you do not use all of your prescribed or over-the-counter medication, you have several options that can have a positive impact in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment by disposing of unused medicines properly:
    • DO NOT FLUSH unused medications and DO NOT POUR them down a sink or drain.
    • One option you have is to take advantage of state and local collection alternatives in your area. Numerous counties around the state have permanent drop-boxes managed by local law enforcement agencies. Contact your county sheriff’s office or city police office to find a collection site near you. Please understand that different regions, states, and counties have different ways of addressing this issue, so it is important to follow the local laws that are in place for medication disposal.
      • If you live in the Twin Cities, you can visit RethinkRecycling.com for information on local collection sites details.
    • Another option involves participating in the upcoming DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013. These events always include law enforcement officials. Visit the NATIONAL TAKE BACK INITIATIVE site for more information and additional dates.
    • Also, you can safely disposal of your unused and expired medications in your household trash. When discarding unused medications, ensure you protect children and pets from potentially negative effects.
      • Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc.), add water to dissolve it.
      • Add kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or any material that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat) to the plastic bag.
      • Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash.
      • Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them away.
  • Consult your pharmacist with any questions.