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Safe Drug Disposal

Yellow Jug Old Drugs®


Click Here to view TV 9 & 10's MedWatch covering the Yellow Jug Old Drugs program


Ever wonder what to do with your old medications? Munson Retail Pharmacies can help you dispose of them.

Just like half-empty gallons of paint and old AA batteries, the improper disposal of unused or expired medications can hurt the environment. In the past, the only option was to flush old medicine down the drain or send it to a landfill. This common practice led to an emerging problem of trace amounts of chemicals showing up in water in the Great Lakes and across the country.

Today, unwanted and unused medications can be dropped off at many community-minded pharmacies participating in the Yellow Jug Old Drugs® program (go to greatlakescleanwater.org for a full list of participating pharmacies). The program was first coordinated in northeast Michigan in May 2009 by the Great Lakes Clean Water Organization and is spreading throughout the Great Lakes.

Drugs can be disposed of in large yellow jugs located at each pharmacy, and are then taken to a Waste to Energy Facility for safe and proper disposal, keeping them out of the groundwater and lakes. There is no cost to individuals to dispose of their unwanted medications at a participating pharmacy.

Accepted Items

  • Cold and flu medications
  • Drugs from individuals and households
  • Insulin
  • Medicated cough crops
  • Medicated ointments/lotions
  • Medication samples
  • Non-controlled drugs
  • Over-the-counter drugs
  • Pet medications
  • Prescription drugs
  • Vitamins/supplements

Not Accepted Items

  • Aerosols
  • Controlled drugs/narcotics
  • Disinfectants, ie, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, betadine
  • Drugs or waste from hospitals/ health facilities
  • Insect repellent
  • Hazardous materials
  • Hazardous pharmaceuticals
  • Ignitable materials
  • IV bags
  • Medical waste/infectious waste
  • Radioactive items
  • Sharps/needles/syringes
  • Sunscreen products

Drugs should be removed from their original containers/packaging when feasible and placed in a Yellow Jug. Remove all identifying marks and labels on the containers and then recycle empty vials and other packaging materials at a community-based recycling program that accepts them.

For more information, go to greatlakescleanwater.org, or call (989) 736-8179.