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Managing unused medications is a safety as well as an environmental concern. Traditionally, we were told to flush unwanted medications down the drain or toilet rather than keeping them around so they would not be misused by someone else who was not prescribed the medication and who might use the drugs recreationally or taken accidentally by a child or other individual. Although effective in removing the medication from potentially being misused, flushing creates a new and growing problem in the environment. Antibiotics and other medications in a septic system can destroy beneficial bacteria necessary for the system to operate.
Further, wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove or process many compounds found in medications. This means that they end up being discharged into our surface and ground water, with medications thrown in the trash assuming the same fate. National attention is growing to develop more appropriate methods of safely disposing of old, unwanted medications.
Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so. For information on drugs that should be flushed, visit the FDA’s website.
To dispose of prescription drugs not labeled to be flushed, you should take advantage of community drug take-back events or other programs, such as household hazardous waste collection events that collect drugs at a central location for proper disposal. At this time, most law enforcement agencies and some pharmacies in the area also have a drop box where prescription medications may be disposed.
Residential Medication Disposal Brochure
Collection Day Events
The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ), in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies, coordinates drug take-back initiatives throughout the state of Wisconsin. DOJ intends to hold a minimum of two collections per year. For more information on the dates and locations of these events, please see the DOJ website.
What to bring:
What Not to Bring:
How to Package Your Items:
In coordination with Focus on Community, Racine County has multiple drop boxes for unwanted medications at the following locations:
Caledonia Police Department
6922 Nicholson Road, Caledonia
City of Burlington Police Department
224 E. Jefferson Street, Burlington
City of Racine Police Department
730 Center Street, Racine
516 Monument Square, Racine
*Does NOT accept controlled substances
Mt. Pleasant Police Department
8811 Campus Drive, Mt. Pleasant
Sheriff's Patrol Station
14116 Washington Avenue, Sturtevant
Sturtevant Police Department
2801 89th Street, Sturtevant
Town of Burlington Police Department
224 E. Jefferson Street, Burlington
Town of Waterford Police Department
415 N Milwaukee Street, Waterford
Union Grove Village Hall
925 15th Avenue, Union Grove
4810 Washington Avenue, Racine
Mail Back Envelopes
Walgreens - Walgreens Pharmacies have a mail back program using envelopes for purchase for $3.99. This program does NOT accept controlled substances.
Contact your local Walgreens for further information.
For More Information
Racine County Prescription Drug Safety Information
Monitor, Secure, and Dispose of Your Medications
Not in my House Safety Checklist
If you have questions or would like more information,
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