Pharmaceutical Disposal Information and Collection Programs
Boulder County Sheriff's Office Provides Prescription Drug Drop-Off Box
A prescription drug drop box is available in the vestibule of the Sheriff's Office Headquarters at 5600 Flatiron Parkway in Boulder. It is open to the public Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Previous Collection Events
Boulder County Sheriff's Office / Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Take Back Results
On April 27, 2013, the Boulder County Sheriff's Office in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) gave the public its sixth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
On Sept. 15, 2012, more than 375 people dropped off more than 380 pounds of expired, excess and unwanted medications at the Boulder Community Foothills Hospital. Almost 88 pounds of controlled substances were also collected to be properly disposed of. The free pharmaceutical drop-off event was sponsored by the City of Boulder, Boulder County Public Health, Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE), and the Boulder Community Foothills Hospital. This annual event allows Boulder residents to properly dispose of their medications and prevent these items from being flushed down a drain.
- 415 cars drove up to drop off expired and unused medications.
- Approximately four large barrels of medications were collected and properly disposed of.
- Four five-gallon buckets of mercury, sharps, aerosols and oxidizers were collected and properly disposed of.
- The Boulder Police Department collected nearly 47 pounds of controlled medications.
- More than 230 people stopped at the Boulder Community Foothills Hospital to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired medications.
- Approximately 60 gallons of liquid medications were collected and properly disposed of.
- More than 52 pounds of solid pharmaceuticals were collected and properly disposed of.
- More than 1,000 pounds of expired, excess or unwanted medications were dropped off at Boulder Community Hospital for proper disposal.
Learn More About the Proper Disposal of Medicines
Did You Know?
Recent studies indicate that medications flushed down the toilet or drain may have an adverse impact on the environment including streams, fish and other aquatic life. Boulder's municipal wastewater treatment facility is not equipped to completely remove all of the chemicals and compounds found in various medications. Trace amounts of pharmaceuticals can be released back into the local waterways, which may have an adverse impact on the environment. Recent studies have shown that these chemicals can affect aquatic life and even make their way into drinking water supplies.
In light of emerging information about trace amounts of pharmaceuticals found in water supplies across the country, the City of Boulder Utilities Division would like to provide residents with water information, recommended pharmaceutical disposal practices and other city programs.
The City of Boulder Utilities Division owns and operates two water treatment plants. The Federal Safe Water Drinking Act (SDWA) requires that water monitoring be performed at these plants as well as various other sample locations. The city monitors the quality of treated water for many constituents, as required under SDWA, but currently does not test for pharmaceuticals as it is not required nor has the city been identified for having any significant risk or vulnerability.
We all play a part!
The responsibility for clean water rests with everyone. What you put back into Boulder Creek has a substantial effect on water quality. Here are a few tips on how to safely dispose of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Your action will help keep water supplies clean.
Don't let water quality "go down the drain."
There was a time when doctors and pharmacies directed patients to flush unused, outdated or unwanted prescription/over-the counter drugs down the toilet or wash them down the sink - those times have changed!
Municipal wastewater treatment plants are not designed to treat water for prescription drugs and/or over-the counter medications and cannot remove most of the chemicals and compounds in medications that are being released directly into our waterways. As such, residents must dispose of the medication in a different way to ensure our streams, lakes and rivers stay viable and healthy.
Easy Steps to Follow (provided by PACE Partners)
1. Talk To Your Pharmacist. Research shows that pharmacists are one of the most accessible healthcare professionals. As medication experts, pharmacists are available to guide you on how to properly dispose of your unused medications.
- Do not purchase more medication than you need.
- Ask your pharmacist if they will allow you to return unused medications. If so, ensure that the pharmacy properly disposes of excess medications and does not flush them down a drain.
2.Never flush medications down a drain or toilet. There are several other methods to properly dispose of medications on your own. Residents can:
- pour liquid medications over cat litter, or some other absorbent material, and seal it in a plastic bag before placing it in the trash;
- fill pill containers with household glue, remove all personal information, and then place the container in the trash once the glue has dried; or
- cut trans-dermal patches into small strips, place them in a container and add household glue, or mix them with coffee grounds or cat litter before placing them in the trash.
Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 14:10