Team Green is The Denver Hospice's Environmental Stewardship Program
Our work began with a caregiver's comment...
"Please find a safer way to dispose of medications without poisoning our water supplies."
Out of that plea and our hospice nurses' passion to find a solution, Team Green was born in 2003 and is our pioneer program to safely dispose of medications without poisoning landfills or water systems.
Our commitment to environmental stewardship is a model for others from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and Colorado Hospice Organization.
Working For a Greener Future...
We have implemented a method of disposal that helps prevent unused medications from contaminating our water.
Our Team Green Protocol involves the following steps:
- Cross out any personal information on all medication containers.
- Keep medications in their original containers when feasible. If not, use a plastic container, such as a plastic beverage container with a screw-top lid.
- Render all drugs unusable in order to prevent the unintended ingestion of discarded medication.
- Liquids - add kitty litter or flour to the container, recap, and shake.
- Tablets/capsules - add rubbing alcohol or water to the container followed by kitty litter or flour, recap, and shake.
- Suppositories - add kitty litter or flour to the container and recap.
- Transdermal (skin) patches - while wearing disposable gloves, remove the patch from the packaging. Cut the patch in half, handling it by the edges. Place the patch in a plastic container, add kitty litter or flour to the container, and recap.
- Medicated ointments and creams - add kitty litter or flour to the container and recap.
- Syringes and needles - place in puncture resistant containers, such as empty bleach or detergent bottles. These containers should be kept out of the reach of children and adults who may be experiencing confusion. When full, these containers should be sealed with heavy tape, such as duct tape, and disposed of with the household garbage.
- Place all medication containers in a plain paper bag to discourage identification and tampering. Dispose of the paper bag in a trash bin.
The task of disposing what is often a large amount of unused medications can be daunting. You may consider donating some of the medications and supplies to organizations for redistribution to those in need. Click here for a suggested donation list.
Thank you for doing your part to protect our environment and our natural resources.
Contact The Denver Hospice Team Green