[Pharmwaste] Yellow Jug Old Drugs Grant Report/Case Study / Applications for Large-Scale Drug Waste Collection Programs

Chris Angel info at greatlakescleanwater.org
Wed Apr 23 09:18:19 EDT 2014

The Yellow Jug Old Drugs Program received a Grant from the Michigan DEQ for outreach and education components for the  period  of 7.12-12.13. The full report can be found at

Most notable is the cost per location-much less than many estimates and funding sources we recommend for long term sustainability. These items should be considered in any legislation regarding this issue.

Significant Conclusions that have implications on large scale programs to collect and dispose of unused/unwanted drugs below.

The components funded by the DEQ grant have already had an impact and we expect to see even greater impact in coming years. So in many ways this is truly the beginning. The Yellow Jug Old Drugs Program is available all across Michigan. In 2013 we began providing the program in Illinois and
Wisconsin. We will be adding the states of Ohio and Indiana in early 2014 and plan to have the program available in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and New York in 2015 so that we can demonstrate the effectiveness of a collection and disposal program providing service to all the Great Lakes states. Large Scale-state wide and regional drug collection programs provide the most cost effective method of collection and disposal of unused/unwanted drugs. Having many locations under one umbrella program with a low administrative overhead is preferable to local programs providing service to a
smaller number of locations yet incurring similar administrative costs. The Yellow  Jug Old Drugs Program operates at a cost of $300 per pharmacy-cost per location might even be reduced as the number of pharmacies increase. Pharmacies are the most logical, convenient, safe and most effective locations for proper collection and disposal of unused/unwanted drugs
 Having a single location such as pharmacies collect non-controlled and controlled substances will provide even better access for citizens wanting to dispose of unused/unwanted drugs.
 Independent pharmacies are willing to provide financial support to provide program to their communities. Chain pharmacies which make up a majority of pharmacies in the country should be strongly encouraged to participate to provide even greater access to citizens wanting to properly dispose of
unused/unwanted drugs. Long –term sustainable funding is critical to a successful program. The Yellow Jug Old Drugs program is currently funded primarily by support from participating pharmacies. It is the goal of GLCW to have funding sustained by 1/3 pharmacies, 1/3 individuals and grant funding and 1/3
pharmaceutical companies. There are several reasons that citizens should be educated and encouraged to properly dispose of unused/unwanted drugs. These include; Environmental, Water Quality, Public Health and Safety and Substance Abuse Prevention. Individuals deciding to take action are motivated by sometimes more than
one concern. We feel that a primary focus on Great Lakes Water Quality is one of the major factors in the success of the Yellow Jug Old Drugs Program. The issue of water quality, whether it’s drinking water or lakes, rivers or streams for recreation, has been a unifying message while also
addressing the other concerns cited.

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