Sanitation Districts and Partners Launch Medication Disposal Outreach Program

Date: March 17, 2006

Source: Business Wire

The Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County have recently teamed up with the City of Los Angeles, Orange County Sanitation District, California Pharmacists Association, and California Poison Control System in a joint effort to launch a new public education campaign to address disposal of household medications. The campaign's tagline, "No Drugs Down the Drain" is meant to encourage Southern California residents to dispose of their unused or expired medications in ways more appropriate than flushing them down the toilet.

The launching of the outreach campaign will take place on March 19, 2006, during National Pollution Prevention Week and consists of an informational Web site ( and postcards to be distributed directly to customers at local pharmacies. The postcards contain instructions on how to dispose of unused or expired medications and the Web site provides information for a more in-depth understanding of the program and its importance.

In the past, residents were advised to flush unwanted medications down the toilet; however, wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove or destroy all chemicals present in medications. Therefore, medications present in wastewater can find their way into surface and ground waters and may impact the environment.

There are several alternatives when disposing of unwanted medications. The highest recommended alternative is to take your unwanted over-the-counter and prescription medications to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Center or event. Information on these can be found on the Web at or by calling our toll free hotline at 800-238-0172.

Another option is to put them into a sturdy and securely sealed container and then in a trashcan where children and pets can't reach them. Doing these simple things is just one of the many ways local residents can help keep our water safe and our ocean clean. So please take your medicine as prescribed, and remember to dispose of unused portions properly.

The Sanitation Districts provide environmentally sound, cost effective wastewater and solid waste management for over half the population of Los Angeles County. The Sanitation Districts are a confederation of independent special districts serving about 5.1 million people. The Sanitation Districts' service area encompasses 78 cities and unincorporated territory within the County. The Sanitation Districts construct, operate, and maintain facilities to collect, treat, recycle, and dispose of sewage and industrial wastes. The Sanitation Districts also provide for the management of solid wastes including disposal, transfer operations, and materials recovery.

Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County
Don Avila, 562-699-7411, ext. 2304 or
California Poison Control System
Lana Simeonov, 415-502-8603 or 415-341-5035 (mobile)

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