Many people are now aware that many drugs are not removed by the sewage treatment process. They are accumulating in the environment, with some pretty disastrous effects on plants, wildlife and ultimately human health.
Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District participated and promoted the official “No Drugs Down the Drain” week for California, where State agencies, water and sanitary districts, and environmental groups come together to let people know that pharmaceuticals should NOT be thrown away or flushed down the toilet. These were successful but inconvenient for many people.
In August of 2015, the Marin County Board of Supervisors passed the Marin County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance. This ordinance requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to manage and fund a comprehensive program to collect and dispose of County residents’ unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The ordinance makes it easier for residents to safely dispose of these medications by providing more collection sites geographically located throughout the county. The proper disposal of medications helps reduce risks to community health and the environment. This ordinance was put into place in Oct. 2017.
LGVSD was proud to be a partner with RxSafe Marin in helping to pass this ordinance, protecting public health and the environment. “Prescription drug overdose remains the leading cause of accidental death in Marin County,” said Dr. Matt Willis, Marin’s Public Health Officer. In addition, studies have shown negative impacts on animal development. Since medicines are biologically active, so it’s not surprising that common medicines found in waterways effect wildlife.
Having take-back containers at the pharmacies which sell drugs makes the program work much better and keeps harmful drugs off the streets and out of the water.
Please remember, medications should not be disposed of down the sinks or toilets in your home.
- Find a take-back pharmacy near you: https://med-project.org/locations/marin-county/
- If your local pharmacy does not have a Take Back kiosk, ask if they can have one installed.
- Information for ongoing disposal of Sharps