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Medication & Rx Disposal

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Why Proper Rx Disposal is Important to Water Quality

The Environmental Protection Agency has identified numerous pollutants that can be considered endocrine disruptors. These not only include the obvious pharmaceutical products, but also over the counter medications, fire retardants and fragrances commonly found in cosmetics, deodorants and lotions. These endocrine disruptors are not treated by the Wastewater Treatment Plant. They can pass through into the river. At this time, we really don't know the extent of the long or short term problems from this contamination to the environment, animal or human health.

Additional Resources

Year-round Drop Off

  • Longmont Public Safety has a drop box for unused medications in their lobby (225 Kimbark Street), and maintains a list of local pharmacies accepting Rx disposals (always check with pharmacy to make sure program is still available).
  • Colorado Medication Take Back Project (other Colorado locations)

Annual Rx Drop Off Event

The next event will be scheduled for Spring 2018.

Scheduled drop-off events are held in the main lobby of Longmont United Hospital, 1950 Mountain View Ave.

Drop off events are open to any Colorado resident. The event is made possible through the help and support of volunteers, hospital and city staff.

Wastes Accepted at the Event

  • Pharmaceuticals (from household, humans or pets) including, pills, capsules, patches, liquids, inhalers
  • Over-the-counter medications   

Wastes NOT Accepted at the Event

  • Medical Equipment
  • Needles
  • Thermometers
  • Wastes generated from businesses
  • Personal Care products that do not contain pharmaceutical ingredients
  • Household hazardous wastes

Please keep the wastes in the original containers so that the on-site pharmacist can identify the medications- just scratch off any personal information on bottles.

After the event, the wastes are collected for proper disposal by incineration at an approved facility. Plastic, paper and cardboard containers are recycled through EcoCycle (you may bring in empty bottles for recycling, but please remove caps).

    Event Metrics

    Since 2007, a total of 14,621 pounds of wastes have been diverted from potentially entering our environment. This is medication only - no bottles included in the final weight.

    Year

    Pounds

    Households

    Pounds per Household

    2007

    270

    186

    1.45

    2008

    750

    443

    1.69

    2009

    850

    700

    1.21

    2010

    884

    673

    1.31

    2011

    1609

    no info

    -

    2012

    927.8

    434

    854

    386

    1.09 (April event)

    1.12 (Oct event)

    2013

    1077.3

    1053.9

    858

    1008

    1.25 (April event)

    1.05 (Oct event)

    2014

    1154

    874.1

    943

    586

    1.22 (April event)

    1.49 (Oct event)

    2015

    1308 

    650

    935

    540

    1.39 (April event)

    1.20 (Sep event)

    2016 

    1427

    513.7

    1055

    327

    1.35 (April event)

    1.57 (Oct event)

     2017

    838.3

    696.8

     614

    577

     1.37 (April event)

    1.21 (Oct event)


    Tips on Waste Reduction and Disposal

    • Buy only what you can use before the expiration date,
    • Bring medications to Drop Off Days,
    • Ask your pharmacist about their Take Back Programs and the type of disposal they use. (Don't use a Take Back Program that discharges the wastes to the sanitary sewer.);
    • Throw medication into the trash after making it unusable. (mix liquids with absorbents such as kitty litter or coffee grounds; and mix pills with glue and dry before discarding. Patches can be cut into small strips and mixed with glue. Also, remember to remove identification from bottles or use a nondescript container.)
    • Controlled substances: please refer to the printed materials accompanying the medication for specific instructions on proper disposal.

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