“Pharm Safety” in Woodside

December 16, 2008

San Mateo County has a very important innovative pharmaceutical safety program that for some reason is not available here in Woodside. It provides an environmentally sound and secure way to dispose of old drugs that are expired and cluttering up your medicine cabinet. While most of us are in the habit of flushing them or throwing them in the trash, recently concerns about proper disposal have been raised.

Pharmaceuticals are affecting the water supplies. See. Given the fact that so much of Woodside homes have septic systems, we have so many creeks, and so much groundwater this is something we need to be aware of. Of course, there is also an increasing concern about teens using their parents’ left over prescriptions.

The San Mateo County program, pioneered by Supervisor Adrienne Tissier, provides white metal dropboxes, similar to mailboxes, at a number of police and sheriff’s departments around the county. This system addresses the federal law prohibition against transferring narcotics to anyone but police authorities. The system allows the safe storage of expired medications until they are shipped off for incineration. In the first year of operation, more than 4,000 pounds of medication was safely disposed of through the program.

So what’s the problem? Here’s the list of city police departments you can drop off expired pharmaceuticals: Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, Daly City, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Pacifica, San Bruno, San Mateo, and Pacifica, and Sheriff’s Offices in Redwood City and Moss Beach. Notice anything missing? That’s right, Woodside is nowhere on that list despite having a Sheriff’s Substation right in our Town Hall! The nearest location to dispose of old medication is in downtown Redwood City, a decidedly inconvenient location.

Our Town Manager should see what can be worked out. Our farm should be Pharm safe.

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