Proper disposal of unwanted medications
can help protect residents, visitors, natural resources, and
our drinking water. Most waste water treatment facilities
are unable to filter out many of the medications we use. The
same applies to our water treatment facilities, thus, there
are trace amounts of medications in our potable water. Using
bottled water is no less of a likelihood medications are
The problem in Charlotte County is
compounded as most properties are on some form of septic
tank system which does not filter medications. Therefore,
all medications excreted from the body will enter our water
system and eventually the water we drink.
As yet, it is unknown what, if any
impact these trace amounts have on humans, our pets and
other living organisms. To learn more about this impact, the
United States Environmental Protection Agency is studying
Seven Steps to Safety
|1. Keep the medicines in the original container.
This will help identify the contents if they are
|2. Mark / Cross out your name and prescription number
|3. For pills: add some water or soda to start
| For liquid: add something
inedible like cat litter, dirt, or cayenne pepper.
|4. Close the lid and secure with duct or packing
|5. Place the bottle(s) inside an opaque (non
see-through) container, like a coffee can or plastic
|6. Tape that container closed.
|7. Hide the container in the trash. Do not put
in the recycle bin.
For further information, please
contact us (Charlotte County Health Department – Environmental Health
Disposing of Unwanted Medications English (.pdf / 158kb)
Disposing of Unwanted Medications Spanish (.pdf / 160kb)