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Improper Disposal of Expired Drugs Could Harm the Environment

Array of colorful pills may be lingering in medicine cabinets across the Monroe County, but disposal of them is harder than it might seem. A group of community organizations is banding together to make getting rid of drugs safer and easier. Each year, Monroe County offers medicine round-ups during which expired medications are collected.

A spokeswoman of Triad, Georgia Schaich, said so far 50 pounds of drugs is in the process of being sorted, sealed and shipped to an incinerator out of state. “The idea is to get old medications out of people’s cabinets, and we’re encouraging people participate” said Schaich.

Monroe County Solid Waste Management District Operations Director Scott Morgan said that it’s important people don’t dispose of expired medications improperly because they could leech into the area’s water table. “The antibiotics can counteract the bacteria in a septic system and therefore the septic system can actually quit working,” said Morgan.

Morgan further explains that the waste water treatment can fully harm the environment. “It can produce a negative impact on the aquatic life and environment in general.”

There will be another medicine round up in the community on December 8, 2010.

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