Medication take back event collects more than 2,000 pounds of pills


More than 1,000 Clark County residents dropped off medications at four locations throughout Clark County late last month.

The Sept. 26 medication take back was the largest in Clark County. More than 2,000 pounds of pills, 200 pounds of syringes and 40 pounds of inhalers were collected.

In addition, nearly 600 pounds of recyclables were diverted from the landfill and more than 60 pounds of medications were given to the Free Clinic of Southwest Washington.

“Over a ton of pills properly disposed of and 600 pounds of recyclables diverted from our landfill – how great is that?” said Don Benton, Environmental Services director. “I’m proud to work with our valued partners to make these events so successful.”

The event was sponsored by PREVENT!, a local nonprofit, along with Clark County Environmental Services, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Vancouver Police Department, Battle Ground Police Department, Kaiser Permanente, PeaceHealth and Prevent Together-Battle Ground Prevention Alliance.

Medication collections aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse and keep medications out of our water. The 2014 Washington State Healthy Survey found that 6 percent of high school seniors admitted to abusing prescription drugs. Most teens get prescription drugs from a friend or relative, sometimes by taking them without that person’s knowledge.

A recent water quality study found that 80 percent of water samples from 139 streams contained small amounts of human medicines. Sewage treatments plants do not remove these medications from wastewater before it is discharged into rivers and other waterways.

“These events provide people a great way to properly dispose of medications,” said Sally Fisher, environmental outreach specialist. “The Green Neighbors Program looks to make Clark County a greener place to live, and these events help make that happen.”

To learn more about proper medication disposal, visit and search for medications.