Dispose of Prescriptions Safely in Porter County

By: Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County Last Updated: August 1, 2012

recycleEven though the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County sponsors household hazardous waste collection events a few times each year, residents don’t have to wait till the next event to safely dispose of their expired and unused prescription medications. Residents have options to conveniently discard their unwanted prescriptions throughout the year.

Five police departments around the county accept prescription medications any time throughout the year: Valparaiso, 355 S. Washington St.; Portage, 2693 Irving St.; Hebron, 106 E. Sigler St.; Chesterton, 790 Broadway; and Porter, 50 Francis St.

The Hebron Police Department prescription medication drop off box is available Mondays through Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Valparaiso, Portage, Chesterton, and Porter police departments’ drop off boxes are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

None of these locations accepts sharps, such as needles or syringes. Hebron and Porter police departments do not accept liquids. The Hebron Police Department also does not accept metal nasal spray bottles, and the Porter police department does not accept liquid capsules.

For questions regarding these police departments’ prescription medication collection programs, call the individual departments: Porter, 926-7611; Hebron, 996-2747; Portage, 762-3122; Chesterton, 926-1136; and Valparaiso, 462-2135.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County has scheduled two more household hazardous waste collection events this year to collect unwanted medications as well as other products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable or reactive ingredients that require special care upon disposal. No controlled substances will be accepted at these events.

The next event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11, at Portage High School, 6450 U.S. Highway 6; and the last event of the year will take place on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the old/closed Pine Elementary School, 1594 N. 500 E. Both events are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For a listing of products accepted at household hazardous waste collection events, visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org or call 465-3694.

Proper disposal of medication prevents poisoning of children and pets; deters misuse; avoids health problems from accidentally taking the wrong medication; and keeps medicine from entering streams and rivers when poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet.

For residents with septic tanks, medications discarded down the drain or toilet can leach into the ground and seep into ground water. In cities and towns serviced by wastewater treatment plants, medications may enter rivers and lakes by passing through the treatment system, flow downstream and serve as drinking water for other communities.