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Grant-funded program to find better way to dispose of unwanted pharamceuticals

Better ways to dispose of unwanted pharmaceutical drugs from nursing homes and other extended-care facilities is the goal of a new program being arranged by the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning with the help of a $99,222 grant from the Citizens Campaign Fund for the Environment.

The program will focus on proper inventory and control of waste pharmaceuticals, as well as collecting them and disposing of them properly by incinerating them at Covanta Niagara in Niagara Falls. Currently, many medical facilities get rid of unwanted drugs by putting them in with regular trash or flushing them into the sanitary sewers, which poses a risk of contaminating water supplies.

Collection days also will be arranged at senior centers, assisted living facilities and in rural areas, focusing on households where people receive in-home assisted living services.