[Pharmwaste] Costco Accepting Expired Medications for Disposal

Heil, Ann AHeil@lacsd.org
Fri, 10 Jun 2005 11:31:47 -0700


The June 2005 issue of "The Costco Connection" had a short article on =
disposal of waste pharmaceuticals. In this article, Costco announces =
that its pharmacies will accept expired medications for disposal.  The =
full article reads:


Trash, Don't Flush

Scientists are increasingly warning us not to flush expired medicines.  =
At issue are the pharmaceutical and personal-care items that defy =
traditional wastewater treatment - such as antibiotics, painkillers, =
estrogen, antidepressants and blood pressure medicines - leaving traces =
in waterways and raising worrisome questions about potential health and =
environmental impacts.

While the Environmental Protection Agency studies whether to develop =
formal recommendations, here are a few tips for disposing of old meds.

- Crush it, bag it, trash it.  Break up capsules, crush tablets and put =
the remains back in the original container with its child resistant cap. =
 Tape it up and bag it.

- Check with your local hazardous-waste-collection agency - where you're =
supposed to take motor oil and batteries - to see if they accept expired =
medications.

- Ask your pharmacy if it will take back expired drugs.  Some pharmacies =
have programs to dispose of inventory they can't sell, as well as =
consumers' leftover medicines. (Costco pharmacies will accept expired =
medications for disposal.)