Safe disposal of prescription medications is getting a lot easier at Grand Valley, thanks to a new disposal bin located in the lobby of the facilities building, in front of the police station on the Allendale Campus.
The Grand Valley drop-off site will accept all medications, including controlled medicines. Any medicines should be removed from the prescription container and placed in a zip-top plastic bag before being discarded in the bin. Experts with the Centers for Disease Control say between 20 and 60 percent of all prescription medicines go unused and end up being thrown away or flushed down the toilet.
A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health indicates that when medicines are flushed down the toilet, they’re often not filtered from the water at treatment plants because most of the treatment facilities aren’t designed to screen for the specific chemicals. Water can also break down the medicines after they’re dumped in a landfill, and can seep into ground water.
According to the organization “West Michigan Take Back Meds” it’s important to properly dispose of medicines so they don’t contaminate the water system. A 2002 analysis by the U.S. Geological Survey showed that out of 139 streams and rivers in 30 states, about 80 percent of waterways tested had measurable concentrations of prescription and non-prescription drugs, steroids and reproductive hormones.
For more information, contact Grand Valley Police Department Captain Brandon DeHaan at (616) 331-3255 or visit gvsu.edu/gvpd.