Central New York, Community, Environment, Health

OCCRA Offers Means to Dispose of Mercury and Medication

OCCRA is hosting an event to properly dispose of mercury and medication. (c) 2017 Kristen Lawton

OCCRA moves to safely dispose of mercury and prescriptions.

By Lileana Pearson SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – The Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) is now providing a means to safely dispose of prescription drugs. In the past OCCRA has offered yearly events to bring in mercury based items, but this is the first year they are accepting prescriptions.

Dale Cocca, a recycling specialist, said OCRRA is offering this service to try and stop individuals from flushing pills, or washing them down the sink. When this happens, opiates can have undesirable effects.

“It’s a large scale environmental problem having pharmaceuticals find their way into our waters,” said Cocca.  “It can be difficult once they make it, the water can be difficult to separate and the various types of drugs can effect the ecosystem and animals.”

If you can’t make it into the event, Cocca recommends a means of safe disposal at home.

“Especially if they are opiate drugs, youth or any sort of person may be looking for drugs to get their hands on. They’re less likely to use them if they have been contaminated with some sort of other food. We say coffee grounds because most animals are not interested in eating coffee. So you know, squirrels or rodents they get into trash and are not going to go rooting around for the coffee grounds.”

If prescriptions are thrown away or brought to the event they will make it to a trash and recycling disposal facility where they will be incinerated.

The event will be held Monday, August 7th, from 7:30-10:30 am, on Rock Cut Road in Jamesville New York.

More information can be found at occra.org