In recent years, there has been a record increase in the amount of pharmaceutical chemicals found in many of our country’s water sources. Sadly, one of the largest contributors to this dangerous and growing environmental problem is people simply dumping medications down the drain.
Whether or not you’re dumping medication that’s expired or just not useful any longer, our water treatment facilities aren’t designed to completely filter medication disposal. The long-term health and environmental risks due to these types of chemicals in our drinking water remains unknown. Instead of carelessly dumping, use these tips to responsibly dispose of your unwanted medications.
1. Drug collection units
The Shelby County Drug Enforcement Task Force is dedicated to helping people safely dispose of unwanted medications. They now offer collection units at the following locations, where anyone can anonymously dispose of unwanted prescription medications — without question. The medications are then properly destroyed without creating a risk of environmental or health hazards. More information can be found at www.dtf.shelbyal.com.
- Alabaster Police Department (201 1st Street N., Alabaster, AL 35007)
- Chelsea Fire and Rescue Station 1 (160 Chesser Drive, Chelsea, AL 35043)
- Harpersville Police Department (83 Town Hall Lane, Harpersville, AL 35078)
- North Shelby Fire District Station 1 (4617 Valleydale Road, Birmingham, AL 35242)
- Pelham Police Department (32 Philip Davis Street, Pelham, AL 35124)
- Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (380 McDow Road, Columbiana, AL 35051)
- Shelby County Sheriff’s Office North Substation (5511 Hwy 280, Ste 117 Birmingham, AL 35242)
- University of Montevallo Department of Public Safety (Police Department, Station 6155, Montevallo, AL 35115)
2. Return them to the pharmacy
Instead of trashing your expired medications or flushing them down the toilet, consider taking them back to the pharmacy from which they came. This is also a safe and efficient way to responsibly dispose of medications.
3. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is an annual event that aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 30th. Event locations are expected to be announced in the coming weeks and details will be available on MyGreenBirmingham.com.