Our View: Secretly polluting the earth

DKS Editors

This Saturday, students and the Portage County community will have the opportunity to take their drugs — and throw them away.

Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, in partnership with the federal government, is asking for all expired, unwanted or unused medications and other pharmaceutical substances. The drop-off is anonymous, and the hospital will dispose of the drugs and their plastic containers.

While we love this idea, we believe this should be an everyday thing. Of all the great environmental hazards facing Portage County, who would’ve thought improperly disposed pills could threaten our livelihood?

For example, some think it’s harmless to flush a bottle of Tylenol down the toilet. However, it’s the same concept as a factory draining pollutants in a creek or an energy company dumping chemical waste in the middle of a forest — except worse because we have no idea how many people are doing this.

As much as we trust the local government to provide clean water, there’s no way to know how many people are following suit. Given the sheer amount of expired medications in Portage County alone, think of how much is going in our water.

We think this idea can become a relatively low-cost service that local governments across the state provide more frequently to their citizens. There are likely many citizens who can’t make it to the hospital on this one day. However, if it were a public service to spread out several locations open during normal business hours, we could nearly eliminate this pollution.

In our eyes, no one actually wants to flush drugs down the toilet. Readily available and willing “take-back” programs take away the excuse of not having a proper trash can.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.