What to do with medicine and eyeglasses?

| 10/07/2019

How do I dispose of medication and old eyeglasses? Is there a better way than to throw them in the trash?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: Now that is an interesting question that I’ve not encountered before. The answer to the second part is yes and no, which I will explain. When it comes to medication, there really is no “reuse and recycle” option.

According to the Health Services Authority (HSA), the best thing to do with medication you do not need any more or has expired is to mix it with “unpalatable substances (e.g. dirt, sand or coffee grounds), place in a bag and dispose of it in a garbage bin”.

I have to say that I would never have thought of that but it makes perfect sense to ensure the medicine doesn’t fall into the wrong hands or perhaps get picked up by a child who thinks it is candy.

In the case of liquids, the advice is to flush those down the toilet. With antibiotics and chemotherapy medications, though, the best course is to bring those directly to the pharmacy at the Cayman Islands Hospital in a ziplocked bag for the staff there to dispose of properly.

Eyeglasses, however, are a different story. Lions Clubs worldwide have long been associated with collecting used specs under their “Recycle for Sight” programme. So, not surprisingly, you can drop off your old eyeglasses at the receptionist’s desk of the Lions Eye Clinic at the hospital. The clinic is open Monday and Wednesday from 9am-12pm and 1:30pm-4pm; and on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.

Send questions to auntie@caymannewsservice.com
or leave your question in the comment section of any article

Recent answers from Auntie (Click here for archives)

Tags: ,

Category: Ask Auntie, Misc Questions

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Returning your unwanted medicines to a take-back program is the safest and most environmentally protective way to dispose of unused medication.

    Throwing unused medicines in the trash is better than flushing, but it does not adequately protect people and our environment from exposure to potentially dangerous drugs.

    Using medicine take-back programs as the best way to dispose of your unwanted medicines.

    These agencies advise trash disposal ONLY as a “last resort” option until all our communities have convenient take-back options.

    So the questions are: Which Cayman pharmacies have take back programs? How pharmacies and hospitals dispose its unused medicine? May be they would start accepting it from members of public? I fear to hear that they flash it as well. Does HSA regulate it?

  2. Anonymous says:

    HSA just demonstrated lack of awareness that pharmaceuticals disposal is a huge problem.

    Although millions of people flush unused medications down the toilet and discharge them in bodily waste, sewage treatment plants and septic systems are not required to deal with such contaminant, therefore Pharmaceuticals polluting water and raising a host of health issues.

    There are really no safe ways to dispose of it. I would suggest to can it, as you can tomatoes or cucumbers. After you fill a jar full, seal it and store somewhere safe.