San Francisco’s Safe Medicine Disposal program is starting up.
For years, we’ve had to wonder what to do with expired and unwanted drugs. We know we shouldn’t put these hazardous wastes in the trash to end up in landfill, poisoning the earth for the foreseeable future. You shouldn’t flush them down the toilet, where they will poison the Bay or ocean. And you don’t want to leave them around the house, where they could end up poisoning someone in your household. They have to be disposed of eventually, but is there a safe and easy way to do this? Now there is.
Last year hundreds of Club members and other concerned San Francisco residents wrote letters supporting the safer disposal of left-over pharmaceuticals. This flurry of grassroots activism stopped the big pharmaceutical lobbyists from killing an ordinance that mandates cradle-to-grave responsibility by drug manufacturers.
Nearly a year after its enactment at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the Safe Drug Disposal program will enable residents safely to dispose of old medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter.
This is a pilot program being funded by good-steward pharmaceutical companies. The success of this program will indicate whether companies that manufacture pharmaceuticals will be responsible for managing this type of the program into the future.
So take advantage of it, and show that given the option, residents will make the ecological choice.
For details and drop-off locations of the San Francisco program, go to http://sfenvironment.org/article/toxic-products-recycling/disposal-for-residents-safer-practices/safe-medicine-disposal.
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on a safe-drug-disposal ordinance in June.
For a directory of Bay Area sites for safe medicine disposal, see http://www.savesfbay.org/pharmaceutical-disposal-sites.
For more about the concerns of safe medicine disposal, go to http://sanfranciscobay.sierraclub.org/safe-drug-disposal.htm.