New program in SF for disposing of old medicines

April 23, 2012 6:07:58 PM PDT
San Francisco is making it easier for residents to get rid of unwanted medicines.

On Monday, city officials showed off new green bins that will be placed at 12 neighborhood pharmacies. Old pharmaceuticals get placed in a tray and deposited inside the bin. The plastic canisters are recycled.

The goal is to keep these medicines from being flushed down the toilet and eventually ending up in our water system. "A lot of these antibiotics, when they get flushed down the drain or they're disposed of in landfills, are still biologically active. They accumulate in many organisms. It could be bacteria. It could be birds, even end up in humans," Sushma Bhatia with the Toxic Reduction Program explained.

The danger is that the more these medicines accumulate in our bodies, the less effective they become.

The bins will also be located at all of San Francisco's police stations.


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