In this age of green living, one often wonders how to responsibly dispose of medications. Although there is concern that medications flushed down the toilet contribute to water pollution, it turns out that much more medication reaches the water supply after ingestion into the human body and excretion as waste. Therefore, the best way to limit waste is to live healthy, thereby limiting the need for medications. When medications are needed one should use care not to overstock. If your medication expires, some are best flushed while others should be put in the trash. The FDA recommends flushing controlled substances down the toilet (see list). Beware that patches still contain significant amounts of active medication that can be harmful if applied or ingested by children or animals.
“When medications are needed one should use care not to overstock. If your medication expires, some are best flushed while others should be put in the trash.”
Other medications should be removed from containers, mixed with coffee grounds or kitty litter and sealed in a plastic bag before placing them in the garbage. This makes it unpalatable for the meds to be recovered and then ingested. The empty bottle should have personal identifying information scratched off prior to disposal or recycling.