Flushing or throwing away unwanted or expired medications are not viable options according to a local environmental official. However, but many local residents are unsure of how to get rid of their old drugs.
In an effort to help and educate the public, the Southwestern PA Household Hazardous Waste task force will be hosting a collection for expired or unwanted pharmaceuticals this weekend. The goal of this collection is to avoid continued pollution of the region's waterway when these drugs are flushed down the toilet. Pennsylvania Resource Council Director Dave Mazza says the pollution of water from pharmaceuticals has increased.
“Recently testing has been going on, a lot of water quality testing around the country, and a lot of these pharmaceuticals are showing up in water testing samples,” Mazza says. “We know that more people today are taking prescription medications than at any other time in recent history.”
Mazza says that the water treatment plants lack the ability to recognize these substances and cannot purify them either.
The collection, held Saturday, October 23 from 9 am to 1 pm, provides an opportunity to residents to dispose of prescription, over-the-counter, and veterinary medications in the proper way for a $3.00 registration fee. The task force will be collecting both prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals at the Mt. Lebanon Municipal Building, in order to dispose of them properly. Law enforcement will be on hand to ensure the proper handling of any controlled medications.
“You do not want to have these medications laying around the home or dispose of them improperly,” Mazza says. “This event gives people the opportunity to safely and conveniently dispose of these pharmaceuticals.”
Registration must be done ahead of time either online or by calling 412-488-7452.