In 2009, the City of Wyoming Clean Water Plant developed a new initiative called WyMeds designed to reduce the amount of medicinal waste, also known as pharmaceutical compounds, from entering the wastewater system and our environment.
The overwhelming success of this program led to its adoption by Kent County in 2010. The program, now known as West Michigan Take Back Meds, currently serves the entire Kent County area as well as parts of Muskegon, Ottawa, and Allegan Counties. Other Michigan counties as far north as Leelanau and Marquette have also modeled programs after the original WyMeds program.
The West Michigan Take Back Meds program partners with local pharmacies and law enforcement agencies to collect and incinerate unused, expired, and unwanted medications. Residents are encouraged to bring their medications to the local pharmacists where they are sorted into liquids or solids. The medication is then burned at the Kent County Incinerator.
Residents with DEA regulated substances are referred to community police stations, where permanent secure disposal containers are located.
Visit the Take Back Meds website for more information or to find a location nearest you that will help you dispose of your unwanted or unused medicinal waste.
In 2009 the City received the Neighborhood Environmental Partner Award from the MDEQ for starting the WyMeds program.
IN THE NEWS
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality 2 minute video about proper disposal of unwanted medications: http://www.michigan.gov/deqdrugdisposal
Information from the EPA regarding pharmaceuticals: http://www.epa.gov/ppcp/