Greenville County residents who have unwanted over-the-counter and prescription drugs, vitamins and supplements now can safely dispose of their pills at Greenville Memorial Hospital, next to Upstate Pharmacy. The colorful Project Rx pill disposal bin is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, as of Friday, April 29, at 2 p.m.
“Any kind of medication and supplements can go in the bin, but we don’t want sharps – no needles,” says Ashley Rhinehart, spokeswoman for ReWa, formerly known as the Western Carolina Regional Sewer Authority. ReWa started Project Rx in 2010 to raise awareness about how dangerous medications can be when they enter waterways.
“When people flush medications down the toilet, it follows the rest of the water to our treatment [plant], and traditional treatment doesn’t remove the medications from the water,” Rhinehart says. “So it goes into waterways and is used by others for drinking water.”
Even pills thrown in the trash can end up in the water table, she notes.
“Our medication disposal box is the best option because we incinerate, and that’s the best way to dispose of medication,” Rhinehart says.
The new bin is hosted by Greenville Health System and sponsored by ReWa. The goal is to educate communities about small changes that can make a big impact on water quality, she says.
Project Rx has held 10 events featuring medication drop-off days since 2010, collecting 12,676 pounds of medication that were incinerated. There also is a permanent medication collection bin located in the main lobby of the Greenville County Law Enforcement Center, 4 McGee St.
Project Rx would like to expand across the county, placing bins in areas in Simpsonville and elsewhere, but the organization will need more sponsors, Rhinehart says.
The new GHS location can be accessed via Greenville Memorial’s main lobby, past the cafeteria and restaurant area.
For more information, contact Rhinehart at 299-4000, ext. 283, or visit the website at ariverremedy.org.