Keep our water clean by safely disposing of prescription medications and personal care products.
Environmental Impacts: Disposing of outdated medication – including over-the-counter aspirin or cold medicine – is a growing environmental problem. Whenever someone flushes medications down the toilet or tosses them into the garbage, these drugs end up in the surface water or ground water. Wastewater treatment plants and septic systems are unable to remove flushed medications because they dissolve in water. In landfills, medications dissolve and will pass directly into the ground water. This creates a problem for humans, fish and wildlife.
How You Can Help: Reduce the flow of medications into the environment by properly disposing of your unwanted medications using any of the four methods suggested below.
1) Return unwanted medications to participating pharmacies in the Vancouver area, including:
Most participating pharmacies will accept unwanted medications at no charge if they meet the following requirements:
- Must not be a controlled substance (e.g., prescribed pain killers and tranquilizers)
- Must be in original container with the name of the medicine clearly visible
- The container must not be leaking and is capable of being sealed
- All patient information must be removed or obscured
You may also contact Clark County Environmental Services at 360-397-2121 ext. 4352 to ask about a specific pharmacy or have a copy of the list mailed to you.
2) Ask your physician if he/she will take unwanted medications for safe disposal.
3) Take unwanted medications (except controlled substances) to a household hazardous waste collection facility, including Central Transfer & Recycling Center.
4) For additional information about properly disposing of your unwanted medications, visit www.takebackyourmeds.org.
Remember: old pharmaceuticals should never be sent to landfill or flushed down the toilet. Thanks for helping keep our ground water clean!