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Baby with Pills

Protect young children from accidental poisonings

Colorful pills and packaging can be attractive to young children. About 165 young children − or roughly four school bus loads of children − are seen in U.S. emergency rooms each day after getting into medications. Trips to the ER can easily be prevented!
Teenage girl taking medicine from cabinet

Keep medications out of the wrong hands

Unused and readily accessible medicines have the potential to be misused and abused, especially by teens.  Prescription medications are the most commonly abused substance in the U.S.

Protect water quality in rivers and streams

Recent studies show that pharmaceuticals in rivers and streams, if present at high enough concentrations, can harm aquatic wildlife. When flushed down the drain, some medications are not completely removed by wastewater treatment plants. Proper disposal of unused medicine can help protect the environment.

"Extended Producer Responsibility" Ordinance

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors directed the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, Sonoma County Water Agency and the entire Safe Medicine Disposal Collaborative to work on a Safe Medicine Disposal Ordinance by the end of 2016.

The ordinance under consideration could require pharmaceutical companies to develop, implement, and pay for the collection, transportation, and final destruction of the products they manufacture or distribute. The ordinance would be based on the concept of “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR), which makes the product manufacturers financially responsible for the full costs of their products (including disposal).

Medication and Needle Disposal - Consumer Survey

Who do you think should pay for the safe disposal of medication? What do you currently do with your unwanted medication?

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency is working to make it easier for residents to safely dispose of unwanted medication and needles. To do this in the best possible way, your input is needed.  Please fill out this short 3-4 minute survey to let us know which disposal options would work best for you and to share your thoughts on this issue. Your answers are anonymous.