Q &A for Pharmaceutical Collection Events

A second National Take-Back Day held on April 30, 2011, was sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in coordination with state and local law enforcement agencies. This nationwide event gave the public an opportunity to safely dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceuticals found in their homes. Collection sites were located throughout the country. Other organizations also sponsor pharmaceutical take back events and municipalities may accept pharmaceuticals as part of their household hazardous waste collection efforts. Check out EPA’s website with answers to the following questions about disposal of unused medications: •Can hospitals, pharmacies, or any other business generating pharmaceutical waste use take-back programs to dispose of expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceuticals? •How will the pharmaceuticals collected during these events be disposed of? •Aren't some pharmaceutical wastes hazardous waste? •Why doesn't EPA require that collected household hazardous pharmaceutical wastes be disposed of as hazardous waste? •EPA encourages recycling, so can I donate my unused medications to charity? Can I return them to a pharmacy or my doctor’s office? •How should I dispose of my pharmaceuticals? I am unable to participate in the National Take-Back Day event, and there are no other take-back events in my area.