(Return Unwanted Medicines , not the drink)
Do you know what to do with medicines you don’t want anymore?
The RUM project is a way for medicines that are either out of date or not needed anymore to be disposed of safely. Community Pharmacies have RUM bins that all returned medicines are placed in to for safe destruction. This means that any medicines you have that you don’t want anymore should be returned to a Pharmacy where they will be disposed of into the RUM bin. The bins are collected when full and incinerated.
Sharps and blood testing strips can not be taken to a Pharmacy for disposal.
Why can’t I flush unwanted medicines or throw them in the bin?
Medicines that end up in landfill or our water ways can be ingested by our sea life. There are measurable amounts of medicines in Sydney Harbour! Our sea life will be adversely affected by this and ultimately so will we. We don’t want to be taking in medicines through our food and water.
There is also a risk of medicines being taken by children from the garbage that can lead to poisoning.
Can I still take a medicine if it is out of date?
If you take a medicine that is out of date there are two likely outcomes. The first is that nothing will happen as the medicine has lost its effectiveness through breaking down into another form and will not work. The second is more dangerous as the medicine may have started to breakdown into a dangerous form which could be harmful. For these reasons you should never take an out of date medicine and you should check the expiry dates on medicines in your cupboard so that you can take any that are out of date to a Pharmacy to be disposed of.