WLSSD hosts collection event for unwanted medicationThe Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) hosts a free collection of unwanted or expired medications at its regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) hosts a free collection of unwanted or expired medications at its regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday.
“Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Day” is a one-day event offering residents free, safe disposal of unwanted medications. Mercury thermometers will also be accepted for recycling. Due to U.S. drug laws, medications can only be accepted at these specially-staffed events.
“Judging from the large response to our last collection event held in November, there are still many old, expired or unwanted medications in homes throughout the area,” said Gina Temple-Rhodes, WLSSD Environmental Program Coordinator. “Some of the medication we collected dated back to 1956.”
To avoid the risk of accidental poisonings or potential abuse of these drugs, unneeded medication should not be stored.
“It’s a good idea to dispose of old, unwanted medication promptly,” Temple-Rhodes said. “Since medication should not be flushed down the drain, this event is a great opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinet.”
When medications are flushed down the drain, they travel to wastewater treatment plants. Many cannot be removed before the water is discharged into waterways. Pharmaceutical substances and hormones may adversely affect fish and other aquatic life.
“While research into new ways to remove substances from water is ongoing, it’s better to prevent pollution rather than trying to clean it up after it occurs,” said Marianne Bohren, WLSSD’s executive director. “Properly disposing of medication is a good first step toward protecting our local waters.”
SMDC and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department will partner with WLSSD to present this medication disposal opportunity, providing pharmacist and law enforcement support.
Residents may bring their own or a family member’s unwanted or expired medication to the event for disposal. Drop-off is free and confidential.
Residents will use the drive-through area at the Household Hazardous Waste facility during this special event at 2626 Courtland St., Duluth.
For more information, go to www.wlssd.com/pollution_pharmaceutical.php.