Sea Grant, Partners Sponsor Free Program for Unwanted Medicines

Return Unwanted Medicines Event on April 18, 2009

Sea Grant and Partners Sponsor Free Collection and Disposal Program


Larissa Graham, New York Sea Grant
Phone: 631-632-9216

STONY BROOK, NY, April 01, 2009 - Do you have unwanted medicine in your home?  Help protect your family, community, and the environment and keep our waters clean by properly disposing of them on Saturday, April 18 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The collection will take place at the Setauket Fire Department on Nicolls Road. This is a free event for environmentally safe disposal of unwanted/unused medicines courtesy of Triumvirate Environmental, with collaboration from New York Sea Grant, Long Island Sound Study, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook University Hospital, Suffolk County Legislator Lynne C. Nowick, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Suffolk County Water Authority and NYS Assemblyman Steve Englebright.

This is a great opportunity for residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and bring all unwanted/expired medications, including pet medicines, to the event for proper disposal. Controlled and non-controlled substances will be collected. Pharmacists will be present to identify medications and answer any questions from residents dropping off their prescriptions or over the counter medicines. University police officers will supervise the collection of controlled substances. Participants are urged to bring all medicines in their original containers.

According to Legislator Nowick, “About a year and half ago, I reached out to hospital officials throughout Suffolk County with the idea of implementing a program to take back unwanted/expired medicines from the community. The intent is to reduce human and environmental risk by protecting the water supply as medications flushed down the drain can seep into our groundwater. I am thrilled that Stony Brook University and its Hospital have agreed to spearhead this event.”

New York Sea Grant Director James Ammerman says, “Drugs and other synthetic chemicals are increasingly found in surface and groundwater sources, and can contaminate drinking water supplies and disrupt natural ecosystem processes.”

According to an investigation in 2008 by the Associated Press, pharmaceuticals can be found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. The study also indicated that antibiotics, mood stabilizers, and sex hormones are among the drugs found in the drinking water supplies of at least 24 major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

On April 18 residents from throughout Suffolk County have the opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted/expired medicines at no cost. Spread the word to family and friends. This is an important event that will help to protect your health, your children’s and grandchildren’s health, our community and the environment. For more information, please call Larissa Graham, Long Island Sound Study Coordinator, New York Sea Grant, at 631-632-9216.


Additional information on this event:

Return Unwanted Medicines
Saturday, April 18, 2009
10 am – 3 pm
Setauket Firehouse
Nicolls Rd, Setauket, NY

Pharmaceutical drugs—including antibiotics, mood stabilizers, and sex hormones—have been found in the drinking water of over 41 million Americans.

How can you keep your family healthy and Long Island waters clean?

Don’t flush your unwanted medicines! Instead, return them for proper disposal during our one-time collection event. Triumvirate Environmental Inc, a company that disposes of hazardous waste, will ensure that the pharmaceutical drugs that are collected are disposed of at a facility equipped to incinerate them at such a high temperature that the harmful chemicals will be broken down.

We will be collecting expired and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, including controlled and non-controlled substances (see below for a more complete list of what will and will not be accepted). Also, please bring all medicines in their original containers, if possible


  • Prescription medications (controlled and uncontrolled)
  • All over-the-counter medications
  • Medication samples
  • Pet Medications
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Medicated ointments, lotions, creams, and oils
  • Inhalers
  • Liquid medication
  • Homeopathic Remedies
  • Suppositories

Not Accepted:

  • Sharps (e.g. needles and Syringes)
  • Thermometers
  • IV bags
  • Bloody or infectious waste
  • Personal care products (e.g. shampoo, toothpaste, soap)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Aerosol cans
  • Pharmaceutical waste not generated by households (e.g., clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, etc.)
  • Radioactive pharmaceuticals
  • Vaccines

For more information, please call Larissa Graham at 631-632-9216.

This event is a collaboration of New York Sea Grant, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook Medical Center, Suffolk County Legislator Lynne Nowick, Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Suffolk County Health Department, Long Island Sound Study, Triumvirate Environmental Inc., WALK FM and

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