Recycle drugs safely: National Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, September 29

Once again, Cleveland-area governments are joining with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take-Back Initiative (NTBI), offering a safe, convenient way to get rid of unwanted and expired prescription drugs. Local residents can take their leftover pills, liquids, syringes, inhalers and other medicines to a nearby collection site, where they will be accepted and disposed of, no questions asked.

Be safe: take your discarded drugs to a National Take-Back Initiative collection site. (Photo credit: U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration)

Prescription drugs are an especially dangerous type of hazardous waste. They’re difficult to dispose of and dangerous to keep around the house.

  • If discovered by children and pets, they can be poisonous, and the results can be fatal.
  • If flushed into the sewer system, they contaminate the water supply, giving your neighbors unsuspected doses of narcotics, hormones, antibiotics and steroids.
  • If tossed into the trash, they may end up in the hands of scavengers who will resell them.
  • If they make it into the landfill, they’ll become toxic waste that contaminates soil and groundwater.

In cooperation with the drug take-back initiative, local communities have established collection sites throughout the region. (The DEA continues to add collection sites, so if you don’t find a convenient site in the lists that follow, check the NTBI search page.)

To view a map of a collection site, click on the site’s address.

Cuyahoga County/Cleveland East Side

Cuyahoga County/Cleveland West Side

Cuyahoga County/Suburban

Geauga County

Lake County

On the most recent National Drug Take-Back Day, April 28, 2012, participants turned in a record-breaking 276 tons of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at more than 5,500 take-back sites in all 50 states and U.S. territories. In the four Take-Back Days to date, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed over 1.5 million pounds — 774 tons — of medication from circulation.

For more information about the National Drug Take-Back Initiative, see the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration website. A complete list of collection sites nationwide is available through the NTBI search page.

Unused drugs are hazardous waste: keep them out of the wrong hands … keep them out of our water … keep them out of the landfill.


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