Albert Eisenia Fetida and Bacon Justification

I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'll play one at next week's worm presentation. Costumed one of my tie-dye red wigglers as an Einstein Eisenia Fetida. This year's summer library reading program is Fizz, Boom, Read.

I'm not a pharmacist, either, but I'm charged with safely disposing of prescription and over-the-counter medications for a dear friend. Searching websites of several nearby cities has not yielded a take-back event. Now I'm scanning safe DIY Rx disposal recommendations.


Flushing drugs down the toilet is not the right answer. We don't want to pollute the water stream. So I'm not a foreign policy negotiator, either, but the transfer and disposal of Syria's chemical weapons at sea makes me queasily uneasy.

If you can wait until a local pharmaceutical take-back event, that seems to be best. Otherwise, these DIY disposal instructions come from AARP, and the Medical Center of Plano. Since I have no kitty cats to provide disgusting litter, I'm going with Plan B. The pills are in the Trader Joe's coffee can with some soggy coffee grounds and some bacon grease. Peeled the labels off the bottles and recycled the pill bottles. [Yes, removed those darn kid-proof lids!]

And now? Now I must get bacon and lettuce and tomatoes for BLT sandwiches. Why? Because I need more grease for the Rx disposal! Never mind that it is summertime and we all need homegrown tomatoes. This is a civic bacon emergency. I am willing to step up.

Trash Disposal
You can throw away expired or unused medication in the trash. First you will have to “prepare” the medication so that it will be in a safer form. These instructions apply to both pills and liquids.
  • Remove the medication from its original bottle. Mix the drugs with something that would make them unappealing to people or pets who may go through the trash. You can use kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
  • Next, place the medication in a plastic bag with a seal or in a container with a lid. The goal is to make sure that the medication does not spill out of this packaging. You can also use tape to further secure the bag or container.
  • Do not forget about the original bottle that the medication came in. Your privacy is important. Remove the label or use a black marker to hide your name and any other information. Before placing the bottle in the trash, check to see if it has a recycling code on the bottom. If it does and your city or town’s recycling program accepts this type of plastic, place the bottle in your recycling bin.

2014 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

seana graham said...

Very useful information. I hadn't considered it before, largely because there aren't a lot of drugs in my medicine cabinet. But I do have a packet of Dramamine, which I unfortunately bought at the airport once. Not on purpose. It was somehow lying on the counter from the last customer and I got charged for it. The cashier wasn't the best English speaker, so rather than going back and trying to hash it out with her, I decided to keep it, in the event that it ever came in handy. Looking at it now I see that it expired in 2010. I probably won't get rid of it, though. I will just leave it there to molder.