Many people assume throwing unused medications in the trash or flushing them down the toilet is a safe way to dispose of them. However, Liz Browne, acting director of the Materials Management Division at the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) says, “Neither landfills nor water treatment systems are equipped with technology to remove the chemicals in pharmaceuticals, so flushing them or putting them in the trash is not a good option.”
EGLE is urging people to refrain from improperly disposing of medications to prevent the chemicals from pharmaceuticals from ending up in our water supply. Most medications used by people are not fully metabolized by their bodies already, which causes them to show up in wastewater treatment systems. This also negatively affects waterway ecosystems which make up a large percentage of Michigan’s natural resources.
EGLE provides a Household Drug Take Back Map online that includes information of facilities that accept a variety of medications including controlled substances, solids, liquids, and sharps/needles. View the map for a location near you <HERE> .
Reporting for WGRT – Jessie Wiegand