Only a Day for Disposal

November 15 is the day Keep America Beautiful set aside as America Recycles Day. I recycle every day but I get the need to still promote awareness ─ not for the public but for the government and business.

It seems as if the people are ready to move forward but the infrastructure, at least for drug disposal in a smaller community, is not in place.

A reader who lives in Palestine, Texas, left a comment on an article we had posted in October describing legislation on prescription drug disposal. She complained that "Some of us are trying to do the right thing by carefully disposing of unused pharmaceuticals." She was unable to find a drop-off site. (Perhaps we should send an e-mail to John Cornyn, R-Texas, one of the bill's sponsors).

By the way, Palestine is a county seat, halfway between Houston and Dallas, with about 17,000 people, according to the 2000 census.

I contacted a Palestine official who confirmed that the city doesn't participate in a drug disposal program. He suggested the resident check with local hospitals to find out how they dispose of their medication (they follow Texas code that was developed in 1977).

I went to and that website has a participating pharmacy locator but nothing appeared when the search was filtered for "Palestine." Or "Dallas," for that matter.

Sept. 25 was a "Take Back Your Meds" day when residents were asked to drop off their drugs at local law enforcement agencies. So does that mean our Palestine resident missed her opportunity to engage in proper disposal? I suppose she will have to wait until next year, keeping her unwanted drugs locked up. Frustration might cause some people to flush them down the toilet. Everyone knows that convenience helps drive momentum for behavior change.

Why aren't the drug companies and local pharmacies making this happen on a larger scale?

Posted by L.K. Williams, EPonline on Nov 15, 2010