Medicine & Sharps Disposal
Managing Unused and Expired Medications
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care
Products (PPCPs) refer in general, to any product used by
individuals for personal health or cosmetic reasons.
PPCPs include a wide variety of chemical substances, including
prescription and over-the-counter drugs, veterinary drugs,
cosmetics, and vitamins. Individuals add PPCPs to the
environment through the disposal of unwanted medications by
flushing unused and/or expired medicine down the toilet.
These pharmaceutical byproducts are found, at some level, in
any waterbody that is influenced by raw or treated sewage.
Risk to humans and other organisms
The risks posed to aquatic organisms and to humans are
unknown. This is largely due to low concentrations levels of
PPCPs found in the environment. There are no known health
effects from the low-levels found in drinking water.
Residential Drug Disposal
Residents are encouraged to
follow the disposal instructions included with the medication
or on its label and to take advantage of pharmaceutical
If discarding unwanted medications at home, following these
simple steps will ensure environmentally responsible and safe
disposal. To protect yourself and others, always keep
prescription drugs in their original container and scratch off
or black out personal information to make it unreadable.
prepare pharmaceuticals for proper disposal, please follow the
- For solid medications (e.g. pills or capsules): add a
small amount of water to partially dissolve them and seal
the container with duct tape.
- For liquid medications: add a substance such as table
salt, coffee or kitty litter to deter anyone from using the
medication and seal the container with duct tape.
- For blister packs: wrap the blister packs in multiple
layers of duct tape.
- For sharps disposal: place used and discarded needles in
a sharps disposal container to protect against accidental
injection. Disposal containers are available at most
- Unused ampules, vials, and IV bags: These items
should not be opened, wrap in duct tape and placed in an
opaque container such as an empty coffee tin or empty
detergent container (clearly mark container as ‘Not
Recyclable’) and place in trash.
contact the Bloomfield Township Engineering and Environmental
Services Department if you have
questions about the material presented here. For more
information on how you can properly dispose of unwanted
medications and/or sharps, please visit the following
The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
DEQ Medical Waste Program
Environmental Protection Agency PPCP Site
Sharps Disposal Information
Home | Government
| Services |
Current Events |
Contact Us |
E-mail List |
Site Map |
Site Use Policy
Township of Bloomfield
4200 Telegraph Road
P.O. Box 489
Bloomfield Township, MI 48303-0489
All information © 2013
Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Having trouble with Adobe? Click here.