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Disposing of unused prescription medicines/drugs

Original post made by Phyllis Kayten, Southgate, on Jan 16, 2008

Today's Palo Alto Weekly posted a letter to the editor (Palo Alto Weekely: Spectrum, January 16, 2008, p. 22) asking fopr the best practice or solution for disposing of prescription drugs.

Here is an article from Palo Alto Online Community Resources: Web Link:

Household Hazardous Waste Program
Palo Alto residents may drop off photo chemicals, household batteries, paints, solvents, chemical drain openers, pool chemicals, household cleaners, aerosols, pesticides, insecticides, pharmaceuticals and hypodermic needles at the Regional Water Quality Control Plant, 2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto, on City of Palo Alto Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days.
Call 650-496-6980.

Actually they accept pharmaceuticals every day; I've just shown up to the office and they have a box to drop your drugs. They ask that you not drop off narcotics (but they do not verify your deposits).

Comments (2)

Like this comment
Posted by Vivian Distler
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 17, 2008 at 8:28 am

A family-owned pharmacy in San Jose has launched a "ground-breaking" program to deal with the issue of pharmaceutical disposal. You can read more about it in this Merc article: Web Link
Palo Alto's state senator, Joe Simitian, has praised Leiter Pharmacy's program: "This is exactly the kind of community responsibility we need. When pharmacies take back and properly dispose of unused medicine, it means cleaner waterways." He sponsored a bill, signed in October by the governor, that authorizes $6 million in grants for medication "take-back" pilot programs around the state that are expected to begin in July.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 17, 2008 at 8:40 am

Sometime ago I cleared out my leftover prescriptions and took them back to Safeway Pharmacy in Mountain View. One pharmacist did not want to take them and told me to put them in the trash ("which is what we do") and another gave her black looks and took them from me and put them somewhere in the back. I haven't done it since, but thought that if they don't know what to do, what is the rest of us supposed to do.

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