|Disposal of Prescription Drugs and Sharps
Not in the trash or down the drain!
ALMOST THREE BILLION drug prescriptions will be dispensed this year. A significant portion of these drugs will never be used and will require disposal. Getting rid of unwanted prescription or over-the-counter medications has historically meant flushing them down the toilet or drain. This is no longer the best advice, however.
Water treatment facilities and septic systems are not designed to remove medications and many of the other chemicals found in personal care products and so they enter water supplies. Recent studies by the United States Geological Survey have found antibiotics, hormones, pain relievers, and other medications in waterways throughout the United States.
The long-term impact of medication ending up in our rivers, lakes, and even our drinking water, is unclear. However, studies suggest that the release of antibiotics into the environment may encourage the development of drug-resistant germs. Hormones from medicines and birth control pills are suspected to have reproductive side effects in fish.
There are free collection sites for these medications in Franklin County. Nearby medication collection locations are:
♦ Buckland Police Station (by appointment 625-8200);
♦ Deerfield Police Station (24 hr / 7 days);
♦ Greenfield Police Station (24 hr / 7days);
♦ Sunderland Police Station (9-5 7 days).
NEVER DISCARD LOOSE SHARPS in the trash or recycling bin, or leave needles and syringes where someone can be injured. Do not flush needles, syringes, or lancets down the toilet. Improper disposal of needles, lancets, and syringes (“sharps”) injures hundreds of recycling, sanitation, and custodial workers each year. Proper disposal of sharps is important to prevent injury and disease transmission from needle-sticks. Always store sharps containers out of the reach of children. See Program below.
The Solid Waste District provides free one quart or one gallon sharps boxes to residents who use needles and lancets. Once a sharps box is full, you can bring it to one of eight Franklin County locations, and pick up an empty sharps box to take home.
Safe disposal of sharps protects recycling and trash collection workers, as well as family members of sharps users. Help us prevent unintended needle sticks – use our sharps collection program from now on.
This program is open to residents of Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Hawley, Heath, Leverett, Leyden, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Rowe, Shelburne, Sunderland, Warwick, Wendell, and Whately. There is no charge to residents for use of the program. You may use whichever collection site is most convenient for you.
Sharps boxes may be picked up and dropped off at these locations:
♦ Franklin County Solid Waste District, 50 Miles St.,
♦ Greenfield. Hours vary
♦ Greenfield Health Department, 20 Sanderson St.,
♦ Greenfield. M-F 8:30-5
♦ Heath Town Nurse, 1 East Main St., Heath. Tues.
♦ 12:15-1:15 & Thurs. 11-1
♦ Montague Board of Health, Town Hall, 1 Avenue A,
♦ Turners Falls. Wed. 9:30-11:30
♦ New Salem Board of Health, 19 So. Main St., New Salem.
♦ Mon. 9-11
♦ Orange Board of Health, 135 East Main St., Orange.
♦ Mon.-Thurs. 8-1
♦ Rowe Town Nurse, 321 Zoar Rd., Rowe. M, W, F 9-5
♦ Shelburne Family Practice, 1000 Mohawk Trail,
♦ Shelburne. Tues. & Wed. 9-4
♦ Whately Health Center - Dr. Jones, 181 State Rd,
♦ Whately. Tues. 9-2
Products Containing Mercury
Mercury is highly toxic to human health and the environment and dangerous to have around the home. Your old mercury thermometer and blood pressure devices can be properly disposed of through the District at no charge. The District has free, non-mercury thermometers available for exchange. (Limit one free thermometer per household.) The District also has a brochure about mercury and its dangers.
Franklin County Solid Waste Management District
50 Miles St., Greenfield
Made possible through a grant from the USDA Rural Utilities Service.
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Note: This webpage is part of the Town of Hawley, MA website. www.townofhawley.com.