Pilot program to collect sharps and unused livestock medicines

A first-of-its-kind collection program for sharps and unused livestock pharmaceutical products is tak­ing place this fall as part of an Ontario government-funded in­iti­ative to protect water quality in the Great Lakes Basin.

Farmers will be able to bring their sharps and unused medicines to collection sites in Eastern and Southwestern On­tario free of charge for safe and environ­mentally friendly dis­posal dur­ing a pilot project the week of Nov. 17.

“We’re encouraging farm­ers to bring their sharps and unused pharmaceuticals to one of our collection sites,” said Crystal Mackay, executive director of the Ontario Farm Animal Council. “Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America that is undertaking this type of pilot collection pro­gram … as a way of protecting water quality.”

The sites will accept animal pharmaceu­tical products with drug iden­tification numbers and sharps products (needles, scalpel blad­es and syringes) as part of the program.

“Farmers are responsible environmental stewards who are committed to protecting our water and our land,” said Lilian Schaer, executive director of AGCare. “Water quality is im­portant to all Ontarians, but es­pecially to farmers.”

The project is being co-ordinated by the Ontario Farm Animal Council and AGCare and other partners For more information, visit www.­ofac.­org.