Responsible Spring Disposal

A weekly feature for Lumby, Cherryville, and area seniors. For more information about any of the following please contact Colleen or Jenny at (250) 547-8866 Whitevalley Community Resource Centre Office (250) 547-8866. Funding support provided by Interior Health, the Province of British Columbia (Community Gaming), United Way Southern Interior and United Way Lower Mainland.

It doesn’t feel right to just throw out medications that you no longer need or have expired but what should you do with them?  These products should never be chucked out like regular trash. The good news is; pharmacies will collect them free of charge, always ensuring safe disposal of your medical waste.  

Almost every household has leftover or expired medicine in their cabinets.  It is extremely important to remove these items responsibly.  Cleaning out old medication will eliminate accidentally taking the wrong one or ingesting something expired.  Your first instinct may be to throw them in the garbage, flush them down the toilet, or pour them into a drain but these are absolutely not safe ways to get rid of medications! If drugs are not discarded properly, they can get into the water supply, the environment, be found by children, pets, or wild life.  Many seniors have inadvertently taken expired or unused prescription medications.  This, potentially, can have dangerous repercussions.  

The proper way to dispose of leftover and expired medications (this includes natural health products and medical sharps, such as needles and lancets), is to bring them to your local pharmacy, where they are forwarded to a licensed incineration facility.  It is actually quite simple: remove expired and used medication from the original packaging or containers and place them in a bag.  Creams, liquids, and powders can remain in their original packaging. For medical sharps, any local pharmacy can provide you with an approved container into which product can be placed.  Make sure you remove any personal identification information before turning items in.  

Remember that drugs that have been prescribed to treat a medical condition, and ones that are sold over-the-counter, are not safe for everyone.  Choose a safe disposal of unused and expired drugs while spring cleaning this year.