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Missoula Valley Water Quality District
(406) 258-4890
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Missoula Valley Water Quality District

Department: Water Quality District
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Water Quality District - Hazardous Waste

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What Makes it Hazardous?

Unused prescription and over-the-counter medications, can contaminate air or water, if burned or flushed down the drain. When disposed of where they are accessible to people or pets, these medications can be ingested, causing severe health consequences or death. Some of the substances, or combinations of substances, can damage septic systems or waste water treatment facilities, and harm fish and other wildlife when these substances enter water bodies. Current research is investigating the potential impacts to humans of trace amounts of combinations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water. There is also growing concern that antibiotics entering the environment in this way may contribute to the development of drug-resistant microorganisms.

Disposal through a take-back program helps to minimize the threat posed by unused medications.

Consumer Tips

Disposal Options


Click for Missoula City-County Health Department's Prescription Drug Page

The Residential Disposal Guide is provided by the Missoula Valley Water Quality District as a public service and is not an endorsement of specific businesses, services or products. Any omissions or inaccuracies are unintentional. Please contact us with corrections or additions. Call businesses or agencies to confirm hours, locations and charges for services, if any. For information on disposal of items not listed, email or call the Water Quality District at 406-258-4890, M - F, 8 am to 5 pm.

Much of the information provided is from the Washington County, MN, Dept. of Public Health and Environment website.

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