Do you have old, unused, unwanted, or expired medications? Don't flush them down the toilet. Store them safely until the next Drug Take Back Event. The next events will be spring (April) and fall (September or October) 2014. Guidelines for collection events are:
Prescription and over-the-counter medications accepted with NO QUESTIONS ASKED.
NO needles, sharps, injectibles, epi-pens, IV solutions.
l NO medical waste.
l NO illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, etc.
l Mark out your name or any other identifiable information.
l Individuals only. Sorry, businesses are not allowed
If you can't attend the collection event, you can drop unwanted medications off at a local collection facility such as the Albany Police Department (1117 Jackson St, NE) or Philomath Police Department (1010 Applegate Street). Check this page for updated information on upcoming collection events.
Please check this web page in the spring for more detailed information on potential collection events in April 2014.
What else can you do?
- Only buy enough medication that you can use before it expires.
- If you know a friend who uses the same over-the-counter medication, consider combining purchases.
- If you must discard old medication, place the medicine in a bag and put it in the trash. It will still end up in the environment, but the process of leaching from the landfill will be much slower, and soil organisms may break down some of the chemicals.
- Consider buying fewer personal care products and using those you do buy sparingly.
- Never put medicines or leftover personal care products down the toilet unless the label specifically instructs you to do so.
- When you buy prescription medicine, ask your pharmacist if she can tell you the expiration date from the bulk packaging in addition to the date on the label (always one year from when you purchase the drugs).
- Ask your pharmacist if the drugs will become dangerous after expiration. Some drugs lose some potency, but can still provide some benefits.
On Saturday, October 26, 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration hosted its seventh “National Take Back Initiative.” The City of Corvallis participated in this event as well as past events back to 2011. At the most recent event, Corvallis Police Department, Corvallis Public Works, Republic Services, and the OSU College of Pharmacy collected 540 pounds of unwanted medications from 245 Corvallis households. All unwanted medications were converted to electricity in a waste-to-energy incinerator. The Benton County Sheriff's Department hosts spring drug take-back events, and has done so since 2010.
Among all seven events, over 2,200 people turned in over 4,100 pounds (over two tons) of unwanted medications. These chemicals were removed from the community to protect public health and the environment.
The Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies estimates that 40% of all prescribed medicine goes unused. Most prescription medication abuse occurs when drugs are obtained from family and friends. As a water, wastewater, and stormwater utility, Corvallis Public Works also is interested in removing these products from our watersheds to protect our drinking water supply and the aquatic organisms that live in our streams and rivers.
If you missed out on these events, you can store your old medications until the next event. It is likely that the DEA will announce another collection event for spring 2014. You also may be able to dispose your unwanted medications in a nearby community that hosts a drop box. The closest drop boxes to Corvallis are at the Albany and Philomath Police Departments. The Albany Police Department is located at 1117 Jackson St. SE, and the box is available 24 hours per day every day of the week. The Philomath Police Department is located at 1010 Applegate Street, and the box is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to noon and from 1:00 to 4:30 pm. Other drop boxes nearby include Eugene, Newport, Springfield, Salem, and several police agencies in the Portland Metro area. A complete list of drop off sites is available here. New sites are being added frequently, and may not be represented on this list.
For more information, e-mail Public Works or call the Corvallis Water Conservation Program at 541-766-6336.