Got old meds in the medicine cabinet? Don’t flush ‘em!
Municipal water treatment doesn’t remove all pharmaceutical materials them from water, resulting in tiny doses of flushed prescriptions ending up in community drinking water. And tossing the meds in the trash causes the unwanted chemicals to seep from the landfill into our water table. The US Geological Survey conducted a study of 39 streams across 30 states and found that measurable concentrations of prescription and nonprescription drugs, steroids, and reproductive hormones were present in 80% of waterways tested.
The City of Grand Rapids Environmental Services Department and its partners have a program for the disposal of old prescription drugs. The West Michigan Take Back Meds program partners with the Kent County Public Works Department, local pharmacies and communities to provide a free service to safely and correctly dispose of expired, unwanted or unused medications. While local pharmacies will not accept controlled substances, secured drop boxes are available for this purpose in the lobbies of local law enforcement agencies.