Collection of expired and unexpired drugs

Theredrug collectioninterestexpired medicinesand valid (not expired). For thecollection of unexpired drugs(better definedvalid drugs)you have to stick to the “Day of the Collection of Valid Medicines” or to the various initiatives launched by local associations and pharmacies.

On the contrary, for thecollection of expired drugs, almost all the regions of Italy have adopted the same collection system so as to adhere to a single prophylaxis.

Collection of expired drugs

THE expired drugsmust be disposed of in special containers present in pharmacies, because the substances present in them, if treated in traditional disposal plants together with other waste, can give rise to toxicity. For this reason, drugs are classified astoxic wasteproducts in the home.

All the medications they can be delivered in the street container placed next to or inside the pharmacy, whether they are expiredwhether they are still valid; remember that the cardboard packaging must be thrown away with the paper. The containers for the collection of drugs are not suitable for the collection of syringes (these go in the dry without a needle) or worse, of needles or other Hazardous wasteof sanitary origin.

Disposal of expired drugs

Expired drugs are non-recoverable urban toxic waste which, being composed of active ingredients that can alter the natural balance of the environment and damage the health of living beings, must be disposed of separately. Expired drugs, if disposed of badly, can in fact damage the subsoil, pollute the drinking water wells or compromise the functioning of the purifiers of the sewer networks.
In Italy, expired drugs are not recycled, but due to their potential toxicity they are collected and treated separately from other waste: they end up in waste-to-energy plants but here the combustion takes place at controlled temperatures and with special filters designed to retain substances that would otherwise be dispersed in the 'atmosphere.

In some European countries, the law allows the use of ash derived from the combustion of drugs as a substrate for the asphalt of motorways.

Collection of unexpired drugs

There are many families who, at the end of a therapy or following a variation, find themselves forced to throw away a large number of drugs that are still valid. Unexpired drugs represent a valuable resource for those who do not have the financial means to access treatment. It is for this reason that associations have been created in various locations in Italy for the collection of unexpired drugs. Among the various initiatives, the one with the greatest resonance is the "Banco Farmaceutico" which, with the project "Recovery of valid drugs not expired", accepts and redistributes drugs with at least 8 months of validity. Drugs that have not expired must be donated to participating pharmacies or during collection days, in their original and intact condition. The collection of non-expired drugs does not include hospital drugs (range H) and drugs belonging to narcotic and psychotropic substances (anxiolytics, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antiepileptics…).

Medicines and other medical waste

THEmedicationsare classified aswaste toxic, as their inadequate disposal could cause damage to living creatures or put the surrounding environment at risk. All other waste derived from health care activities, such as used needles, are classified asspecial waste.

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