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Prescription Drug Disposal


A drop-off box outside the St. Matthews Police Department offices inside of City Hall prevents unused prescription drugs from being used by the wrong persons and from polluting the environment. Improper disposal of drugs can accidentally poison children or pets who find them in the trash can. They can be scavenged from trash receptacles to be illegally used or sold. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in a poll that 70% of high school seniors using prescription drugs, not prescribed for them, got them from a friend or relative.

Besides potentially hurting loved ones or pets, improper disposal of unused drugs can hurt the environment. Some medication products should not be flushed down the toilet or drain, burned in the open, or thrown in the trash because they can contaminate the environment if they get into drinking and ground water. They may kill bacteria or produce drug resistant bacteria in sewage treatment plants and septic systems if flushed down the drain. Burning can release toxic pollutants into the air.

Residents wishing to make a deposit in the Drug Disposal Box must follow some simple steps:

1) ensure prescription drugs are placed loosely in a sealed plastic bag; All pills can be placed in the same plastic bag.

2) do not include over the counter medications;

3) make sure deposit does not include liquid medicines, inhalers, creams, lotions, patches or needles.  Please contact your physicians office or pharmacy for the proper disposal of these items.

The deposit box is located on the first floor of City Hall. Parking is free and just feet from the entrance.

Due to the overwhelming success of this service, we find it necessary to allow disposal Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. only.

After the box is full, the drugs will be incinerated by SMPD officers in an undisclosed location.

To learn about which drugs should be disposed of in a community drug disposal location and which drugs can be disposed of easily from any residence click here.

Optional locations to safely dispose of medications.

24-hour Walgreens stores: 2021 Hikes Lane (451–0931) and 12101 Shelbyville Road (244–7037).

Both stores have installed a Safe Medication Disposal Kiosk. Individuals can safely dispose of their unwanted, unused, and expired medications at no cost. Simply deposit the medications in the kiosk—like dropping a letter into a mailbox. The kiosks are located next to the healthcare clinic in each store.


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