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Protect Your Family and First Responders from Household Hazardous Waste and Unwanted Medications. 

Cooperative Extension is here to help you keep our families and environment safe from unused or unwanted toxic chemicals and medications, with a few simple steps.  

Prescriptions and Medications 

National Drug Take Back Day is Saturday October 29th, 10am to 2pm at a police station near you.

October 26, 2022 – Household drugs that are flushed down the toilet or drain, or even thrown in the trash can get into our waterways, hurting wildlife and contaminating drinking water. You can drop-off expired, unused or unwanted prescription medications on “National Take Back Day,”, this Saturday, October 29, 2022, from 10 AM – 2 PM at a police station near you. Cape Cod has a largely unconfined sole source aquifer that is very vulnerable to above-ground activities. “National Take Back Day” is free and anonymous and helps to prevent misuse and abuse of medications while protecting local water sources. Collected medications are incinerated, which is the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended approach for pharmaceutical disposal. 

Household Hazardous Waste, the Everyday Toxic Chemicals Found In Your Home 

Many chemicals, materials, and products commonly found in the home are toxic and can be harmful to your health and our environment. These are called Household Hazardous Waste, or HHW. Products, such as oil-based paints, cleaners, and pesticides can contain hazardous ingredients and require special care when you dispose of them or when you decide to store them in your home. Some leftover household products can react or explode under certain circumstances, such as a flood or fire in your home due to a storm. This situation can endanger your family as well as police, fire, and rescue teams who would be responding to emergencies during storms. To assist you in disposing of these leftover or unused chemicals, Barnstable County holds HHW Collections from spring to early fall. Although the County’s 2022 collections season has ended, there are still disposal options available to you during the off-season. Click here to visit the Household Hazardous Waste webpage for resources and information. You can also reach out to Kalliope Chute, Extension’s Hazardous Materials Environmental Specialist, at #508-375-6699, for info on safely storing or disposing of your household hazardous waste until the 2023 Barnstable County HHW Collections season begins.  

If you decide to store hazardous products in your home, follow best management practices according to safety data sheets or labels. For example, store chemicals above potential flood levels but never above eye level. Store poisons and toxic substances so children and pets cannot access them. Store ignitable or flammable materials in flame-retardant containers, such as metal garbage cans with lids to reduce oxygen access. Check with your local fire, health, or emergency preparedness coordinator for more information. Check for hazardous products around your house and make note of your storage locations. This map can help you take an inventory of storage locations around your home. 

A map can help you take an inventory of storage locations of hazardous products around your home.

Storage locations around the home for hazardous products.