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Clearing Out the Clutter

February 06, 2017

Spring cleaning provides a chance to hit the refresh button on your home. But what to do with all those extras? These suggestions can help.

If half-filled prescription bottles or expired over-the-counter medications are crammed into your cabinets, now is the time to take action. But no matter how tempting, never flush them down a toilet or pour down a drain. Although these methods can prevent accidental ingestion, they contaminate Florida’s aquatic environment in the process. Wastewater treatment systems simply are not designed to remove most medications.

Instead, safely drop off unused medications at a collection site. Select police departments and sheriff substations collect them. Visit OrangeCountyFL.net for a list of locations. Or you can drop them off at a medication disposal kiosk within certain Walgreens locations. Find a nearby kiosk at Walgreens.com/CombatDrugAbuse.

To dispose of medications yourself, follow these guidelines:

Mark out your name and prescription number for safety.

Add some water or soda to dissolve pills. For liquids, add a dry substance such as cat litter, dirt or cayenne pepper.

Secure the lid of the bottle with duct or packing tape.

Place the bottle in an opaque container such as a coffee can or plastic laundry bottle.

Tape the outside container closed and place in the trash. 

Do not put in the recycle bin.

Re-purpose Items for Others

As you clear out unwanted items, remember that something you’re tired of could find a welcome new home with someone else. These organizations collect gently used items for others in your community:

Edgewood Children’s Ranch – Edgewoodranch.com

Habitat for Humanity ReStore – Orlando.HabitatRestores.org

A Gift for Teaching – AGiftForTeaching.org

HOPE Helps, Inc. – HopeHelps.org

The Christian Sharing Center – TheSharingCenter.org

Please visit each organization’s website before making a donation for additional information, including drop-off instructions, hours of operation and a full list of donation needs.

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