The Corner Drug Store co-owner Marla Busakowski calls the Yellow Jug Old Drugs program a huge success. Out dated or unused drugs and medications can be dropped off at the store for safe disposal. Only controlled substances are barred from the program. The last statewide collection netted 7,746 pounds of unused medications.
IRON COUNTY—Area pharmacies are helping their customers safely dispose of old drugs through the Yellow Jug Old Drug Program.
“The point of the program is to keep drugs out of the water supply,” Marla Busakowski, co-owner of The Corner Drug Store in Iron River, explained.
There are 251 pharmacies in Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois that participate in the Yellow Jug program. During the latest quarterly collection, participating Michigan pharmacies collected 7,746 pounds of unused and unwanted drugs free of charge.
The program was instituted by the Great Lakes Clean Water Institute in May 2009. A total of 55,516 pounds have been collected to date.
“It’s a win-win for pharmacies to provide the program and for the residents where those pharmacies are located,” according to Chris Angel, president of Great Lakes Clean Water.
“We all want clean water, and disposing of unused and unwanted drugs is something we can all do to help keep our water safe.”
Busakowski points out that only drugs that are not controlled by the Drug Enforcement Agency can be accepted for disposal. Medications including high blood pressure prescriptions, aspirin, birth control pills and heart medicines can be dropped off at the pharmacy. Over-the-counter drugs can also be disposed of through the program.
The Corner Drug Store has participated in the project for about three years, Busakowski said. After the drugs are dumped into the yellow disposal jugs, the packaging is also turned in for recycling.
The Crystal Falls Pharmacy also participates in the program.