TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the
Southern Waste Information eXchange, Inc. (SWIX), along with Costco and other partners, collected
more than 145 pounds of unused or expired prescriptions and medications last weekend at a free
medicine collection event held at the Costco store in Tallahassee. Other partners in Operation
Medicine Cabinet included the Leon County Sheriff’s Office and Public Works Department, City of
Tallahassee Solid Waste Services, Florida Department of Health, and 94.9 TNT radio station.
"Improper disposal of medicine has potential environmental, health and safety risks," said Mary
Jean Yon, Director of DEP's Division of Waste Management. "This event made it easy for residents to
safely remove potentially dangerous medicine from their homes and prevent it from contaminating our
Wastewater treatment systems are not designed to remove many types of medications, so flushing
drugs down the toilet or pouring medications down the sink can contaminate the groundwater supply,
including our drinking water.
"Costco was glad to assist with Operation Medicine Cabinet," said Costco pharmacist Brad Mueller.
"By collecting these drugs we know that we are providing a valuable service to the residents of
Tallahassee and Leon County and assisting in the protection of our environment at the same time."
More than 135 residents from Tallahassee and Leon County came to the event and about 1,600
medicine containers totaling more than 145 pounds of unwanted or expired prescription drugs and over
the counter medications were collected. All of the collected drugs will remain in the custody of
the Sheriff’s Office until they are destroyed properly by incineration.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the state's principal environmental
agency, created to protect, conserve and manage Florida's environment and natural resources. DEP
enforces federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida's air and water quality, cleans up
pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution prevention and acquires
environmentally-sensitive lands for preservation. The agency also maintains a statewide system of
parks, trails and aquatic preserves.
For more information on proper disposal of unwanted medications, please visit DEP's Web site at