Media Release

Earth Day Countdown - Collection & Disposal of Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products

Sunday, April 4, 2010 12:45 PM

18 Days until Earth Day.

Driven by the County Commission's Guiding Vision, everyday is Earth Day in Alachua County.  In April, each day leading up to Earth Day (April 22), the County will be highlighting programs, services, and strategies designed to lead Alachua County into a more sustainable future.

To view all "Earth Day Countdown" press releases on the County's Facebook page, click here and click on the Earth Day tab at the top of the page.

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department has enhanced its current program for the collection and disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) from the general public through a new technical outreach initiative to hospitals, pharmacies and medical facilities.  

Alachua County currently offers a safe and environmentally responsible service for the disposal of unwanted PPCPs free of charge to County residents.  Unwanted medicines can be dropped off for proper disposal at the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center located at the Leveda Brown Environmental Park and Transfer Station at 5125 NE 63rd Avenue (2 miles north of 39th Avenue off Waldo Road, Gainesville) and at other select locations.   Alachua County's service accepts prescription and over-the-counter medications (including pills, gel caps, capsules or liquids) that are unwanted, expired, damaged or unusable for their intended purposes.    Over 1000 pounds of unwanted pharmaceutical and personal care products have been collected and properly disposed in the last 5 years. 

Alachua County recently signed a grant agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to evaluate the local management and disposal of pharmaceutical waste by providing technical assistance to local hospital, pharmacies and other medical facilities on best management practices.  This new outreach effort will enhance the current, nationally recognized pharmaceutical waste collection program at the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center. 

"Improper disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals and PPCPs though dumping in domestic sewage systems can be harmful to local water resources, fish and wildlife in areas where surface or groundwaters receive discharges from domestic sewage treatment systems" said Chris Bird, Alachua County Environmental Protection Director. "Current sewage treatment systems are ineffective in removing low levels of pharmaceuticals in treated waste streams.  Alachua County has been a national leader in developing a local alternative for the environmentally responsible collection and disposal of PPCPs.   The County appreciates the opportunity provided by the FDEP grant to improve the local capacity to better manage these special wastes." 

Click here for additional information about the County's Pharmaceutical Collection program.

Pharmaceutical waste disposal locations:

  • Wise's Pharmacy
    • 708 SW 4th Avenue - 374-3780
    • Parkwood, 3601 SW 2nd Avenue - 373-3547
  • UF Infirmary, Fletcher Drive on Campus, 392-1760
  • High Springs Family Practice, 105 NE 1st Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643, 386-454-4055

For more information about the Alachua County's pharmaceutical collection program and all other household hazardous waste information, contact Kurt Seaburg at the Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center at 352-334-0440 or visit   

For information about the new FDEP grant, contact Gus Olmos at 352-264-6806 or

40 Days of Change - For more information concerning events on and leading up to Earth Day, go to the University of Florida, Office of Sustainability's "40 Days of Change" website by clicking here.



If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).