medication disposal in Cuyahoga County Proper Disposal

NEORSD’s Pitch Those Pills

Guest Blogger

Chances are, your medicine cabinet is filled with expired or unused prescription and non-prescription medications including pills, blister packs, creams and inhalers. As a parent, you likely have medications your children have outgrown.

Medical professionals used to recommend disposing of unwanted medications by flushing it down the toilet or rinsing it down the drain. But, wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove these medicines from wastewater, so they may pass through the treatment process unchanged. When the treated water is released into the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie, it can still contain traces of these medicines. Flushing your meds is not the best choice for proper disposal.

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District makes it easy to Pitch Those Pills and safely dispose of unwanted medications. The Sewer District has partnered with CBS Radio and Discount Drug Mart to offer free Pitch Those Pills pharmaceutical collections.

Upcoming Collections

May 2, 2018
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Discount Drug Mart, 6148 Dunham Road, Maple Heights

June 6, 2018
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Discount Drug Mart, 6476 York Road, Parma Heights

July 11, 2018
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Discount Drug Mart, 4170 Fulton Road, Cleveland

August 1, 2018
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Discount Drug Mart, 6160 Brecksville Road, Independence

September 5, 2018
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Discount Drug Mart, 15412 Detroit Road, Lakewood

October 3, 2018
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Discount Drug Mart, 24485 Lorain Road, North Olmsted

Pills, capsules, blister packs, creams, ointments, inhalers and unused sharps (needles) are accepted at the collection events. Used sharps will not be accepted.

Disposal of Medications at Home

If you are unable to attend this pharmaceutical collection, there are also ways to safely dispose of medications at home.

While some pharmacies may collect unused or outdated pharmaceuticals, you may choose to dispose of them at home, but keep the following tips in mind to protect your children or pets.

Steps should be taken to make it difficult for any person or animal to unintentionally ingest the medicine.

  • Keep it in its original packaging. (These containers are often childproof and the labels may contain necessary information.) Use a marker to black out personal information.
  • Make pills unusable by crushing and dissolving them with a small amount of water. Absorb liquid medication with flour, table salt, or sawdust.
  • Secure any packaging with strong tape. Seal the package or dissolved liquid medication inside a non-recyclable, non-transparent container. Place this in with your household trash.

For more details about the Pitch Your Pills events, contact the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.

Want to recycle empty medication bottles? Contact the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District. You can also learn more about the RX Drug Drop Box Program, a year-round medication collection program from the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office.

About the Author

This blog was written and contributed by the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. Taken from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s A Healthy Environment Starts at Home handbook.