Safe Disposal of Unused and
Group Health members can discard unwanted and expired medications at all Group Health medical center pharmacies in Washington state. This program provides a secure and environmentally sound method of disposal, and provides an alternative to flushing them or tossing them in the garbage, where they end up in waterways or landfills. The program also encourages members to clean out their medicine cabinets, helping to avoid medication errors.
See the list of Group Health pharmacies for participating locations in Washington state. If you live in Washington state and there isn't a medication disposal site near you, call the Washington Department of Ecology's toll-free resource line at 1-800-RECYCLE to learn how you can dispose of medications.
This program provides an alternative to tossing unwanted medications down the drain, toilet, or in the garbage, where they end up in waterways and landfills. The pharmaceutical waste will be incinerated.
First, gather your unwanted medications and other approved items (see list below). Leave the items in the original containers. If you wish, mark out any personal information on the container.
Second, take the items to one of the disposal locations during regular pharmacy hours. The blue metal disposal unit is in the pharmacy's customer service waiting area and resembles a postal box. If you have questions, ask the pharmacy staff.
What You Can and Can't Dispose
Yes, you may discard these items:
- Prescription medications (except narcotics)
- Over-the-counter medications
- Veterinary medications
- Medicated ointments and lotions
- Liquid medication in glass or leak-proof containers
No, the program doesn't accept these items:
- Bloody or infectious waste
- Personal care products
- Controlled substances (prescription narcotics)
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Empty containers
- Business waste
Participating agencies in this effort include the Washington State Department of Ecology, Citizens for Resource Conservation, King and Snohomish counties' public health departments, and the Group Health Foundation.
National Awards for
Medicine Return Program
Group Health partnered with local environmental and government agencies to pilot a program to support the return of unused or outdated medicines. The program now operates in all 25 of our Washington state medical centers.
In 2008, the American Health Insurance Plan Foundation recognized Group Health as a finalist for its Innovate Program award. The North American Hazardous Materials Management Association recognized the program with an Effective Partnership award.
Contact Pharmacy Services
For medication questions, contact your nearest
Group Health Medical Centers pharmacy.
For mail-order pharmacy questions, send an e-mail to email@example.com. By phone, call 206-901-4444
For benefits questions, contact Customer Service.
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