I was doing some house cleaning back in 2020 and wedged in the back of some cabinets were some old medication bottles. Some were even from when I was a baby! Most of them were empty, a couple of them had a couple thing still left in them. I was wondering why we still had them after all these years. Why didn't we get rid of them sooner? Turns out, to dispose of them properly, it's harder than I thought.

Disposal of Medication

Pharmaceutical waste is challenging because of the environmental impacts, along with the potential negative public health and social impacts for the mismanagement in the waste stream. Don't just flush them down the toilet. Treatment facilities are not equipped to remove these drugs. An Associated Press investigation claims that a variety of medications ranging from antibiotics to sex hormones have made its way to the drinking water supply of at least 41 million Americans. In regards to landfills and dumps, since the drugs are still chemically active, even those disposed of in the recommended way, still end up in the environment via garbage juice. The landfill runoff is can still end up back in waste water treatment plants.

Orange County Take-Back Event

Orange County will host their Household Waste and Operation Safe Scripts Pharmaceutical Collections event on both September 30th and October 1st. Septemeber 30th is designated for businesses, schools, farms and municipalities only and will be held from 9am to 3pm. It is required to pre-register for this event, and registration will be active until Friday, September 16th.

October 1st will be open and free to Orange County residents with proof of residency. This event will also go from 9am to 3pm. Both events will be held at Orange County Transfer Station #1 (OCTS #1) located at 21 Training Center Lane in New Hampton.

For more information on accepted waste, visit the Orange County Government Website.

For any questions involving this event, please call Ermin Silijkovic at 291-3246 or esiljkovic@orangecountygov.com.

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