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Maine Considers Composting Unused Medications


Maine is considering composting unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. The Morning Sentinel reports the state hopes composting will be an inexpensive solution to disposing of medications.

Environmental rules in Maine prevent disposal of much medical waste, including drugs. Currently, medication is trucked out of state to be incinerated, which uses up a large amount of funding devoted to collecting unused drugs. The article notes Maine collects more unused medications per resident than any other state.

State officials plan to test the composting idea by putting unused drugs into bins, and monitoring them as they break down. They hope once the drugs are fully composted, they will be safe to cover landfills or to use for other purposes.

Unused drugs are often flushed down the toilet, ending up in water supplies. Unused medications, especially opioids, also are a major source of prescription drug abuse, the article notes.

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