In order to provide residents with a safe and convenient way to dispose of expired and unused medications, the Drug Enforcement Agency has once again scheduled a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. On Saturday April 26, the DEA will be partnering with local law enforcement agencies to collect unused or expired medications from the public. Residents can drop off their unused medications between 10am and 2pm at one of nearly 40 drop off sites in San Diego County. To find a drop off location near you, visit the National Take-Back Initiative website.
By properly disposing of unused medication, you are not just protecting your family but also protecting the local environment. Simply throwing old medication in the trash or flushing it down the toilet can have harmful effects on the environment; it pollutes our waters, impacts aquatic species, and contaminates our food and water supplies.
To address the impacts that unused medication can have when it enters our environment, among others, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson introduced Senate Bill 1014 in January. Senate Bill 1014 would create an industry financed and managed statewide system for collecting and properly disposing of unused medications. Currently, there are only 300 to 400 safe disposal sites for unused medications in California. The bill would authorize pharmacies to accept unused medications from the public, making it more convenient for people to dispose of prescription drugs. However, the bill was shelved earlier this month but will be re-introduced by Jackson next year.
If you are unable to make it to one of the drop off locations on April 26, visit WasteFreeSD.org to find a location that collects unused medications year round. Secure collection boxes have been installed at several sheriff’s stations throughout San Diego County, giving residents a convenient way to properly dispose of old medication.
For more information about the proper disposal of medication or for other questions about recycling, visit WasteFreeSD.org today!