Medicine flushed down the toilet flows directly to Lake Michigan because it passes through wastewater treatment plants that are not designed to remove drugs, according to the Fund for Lake Michigan. A large and growing number of chemicals related to unused medicine are currently being detected in Lake Michigan near Milwaukee.
Here are some tips for properly discarding your unused medicine:
Residents of Milwaukee County can take back their unused medicine on any day of the year at one of 82 locations in the county. A map of all locations with either a drop box or drug disposal envelops can be found at takebackmymeds.com.
Disposal in the household trash
You also can follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicines in household trash:
- Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds;
- Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag;
- Throw the container in your household trash; and
- Delete all personal information on the prescription label of empty pill bottles or medicine packaging, then dispose of the container.
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