When de-cluttering, did you also de-drug to get your home ready to sell? Where to take your unwanted medications in Olympia WA.

 

When de-cluttering, did you also de-drug to get your home ready to sell? Where to take your unwanted medications in Olympia WA.

 

When getting your home ready to sell, most homeowners will clean and de-clutter, spruce up the yard, and maybe add a fresh coat of paint, but there is another part of your house that may be over looked and that is your medicine cabinet.   You’ll want to put in a safe place your medications when your home is being shown, but this is also a good time to go through your medicines and dispose of the expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Thurston County is one of the 17 counties (of Washington’s 39 counties) that provides free, safe and secure medication disposal drop-off locations.  Also visit Thurston County’s Solid Waste website.

Why can’t I just put the medication in the trash?

Medicines are hazardous materials and bad for the environment.  Once in the landfill, the medicines will breakdown into harmful chemicals that can leach into the water system.  Flushing medicines down the toilet also contaminate the water system.  Even though water treatment plants treat wastewater, they are unable to filter out the pharmaceutical compounds, and these compounds are then released into Puget Sound.  Of 139 streams sampled in the US, 80% tested positive for pharmaceutical drug contamination.

What is the harm in keeping unused medication?

As a home seller, you don’t want to have any medications accessible to people who are viewing your home.  The drugs of choice for abuse are prescription drugs, but over-the-counter drugs can also be abused. 

Strangers are not the only problem with keeping unwanted medications.  Accidental overdoses and poisonings are the leading cause of accidental deaths according to the Washington State Department of Health.  Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control says, “More than 70 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs get them from friends or family – often from the medicine cabinet.”

Where do I dispose of my unwanted medications for free?

In Thurston County, there are several drop box locations.  All collection locations take controlled substances like Oxycontin or Vicodin EXCEPT Group Health. 

Lacey Police Department – 420 College Street SE (drop box available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day)

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office – 2000 Lakeridge Dr SW outside of Building #3 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day)

Tumwater Police Department at City Hall – 555 Israel Road (Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM)

Rainier City Hall – 102 Rochester Street West (Monday-Thursday, 8 AM to 5 PM)

Tenino Police Department – 358 McClellan Street South (Monday-Friday, 7:30 AM to 4 PM)

Yelm Police Department – 206 McKenzie Avenue SE (Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM)

Group Health Cooperative – 700 Lilly Road (Monday-Friday, 8 AM to 11 PM; weekends and holidays from 9 AM to 7 PM.  Group Health does not accept any controlled substances.)

For locations in other counties, visit www.TakeBackYourMeds.org.

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