Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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Contact Details

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Unwanted medication

  • Bathroom

     

    Bathroom Vent

    The average American, according to www.planetclark.com, spends over 90% of their time indoors. To each their own, you may say, but here is something you may not know: indoor air quality can be five times more polluted than outdoor.

    As the home becomes more airtight and energy efficient, it needs more effective ventilation to circulate fresh air. Each house traps potentially harmful chemicals like urea formaldehyde or vinyl and other harmful pollutants like mold and dust.

    In the bathroom, where excessive moisture easily accumulates, ventilation is especially pertinent. Be sure to run your bathroom exhaust for 10 to 20 minutes after taking a shower. And if you see anything growing that shouldn’t be there, wipe it out with bio-based cleaning products, which won’t affect the secluded bathroom air as much as many scented products.

    Medications

    Your meds are not meant to be flushed down the drain! They ultimately end up back in the waterways, and they will harm your health and harm your local environment.

    Non-controlled substances can be taken to local participating transfer stations, pharmacies, and physicians. Controlled substances can be taken to participating sheriff or police departments. For more information and to find out where exactly you can bring your medications, visit our Unwanted Medication Disposal page.

    Toothpaste

    It is possible to make your own toothpaste from recipes found online or in books at your local library. Or you can just use baking soda. Check with your dentist office to see if they have any suggestions.

    Deodorant

    Your deodorant can contain harmful ingredients, such as aluminum or phthalates. One way to avoid these conventional deodorants is to buy green. Check your local natural food store for better choices or you can try making your own with recipes found online.

    Shaving

    First off, quit fooling around with those disposable razors. Instead, get a razor that will last you a long time. There are many options to choose from at your local department store.

    It is also possible to make your own shaving cream. Google recipes online and give it a try!

    Green Cleaning Supplies

    Get yourself some hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and borax powder. These basic products can make a world of natural cleaning supplies that are effective and not harmful to the environment. Download Clark County’s book of green cleaning recipes to get started!

    Soap and Shampoo

    There are a couple ways to sustainably get at your essential soap and shampoo needs. Simply, you could go out and buy bulk shampoo and conditioner, which gets you the most bang for the buck. BUT, you could also make your own soap and shampoo! There are lots of recipes online or at your local craft store so check them out and see how you like it!

    Sink

    Two words: faucet aerator. It’ll cut down on your water use while you do the same. That means not letting the water run while you brush your teeth and filling the basin with water when you shave.

    Toilet

    The bathroom is the largest consumer of indoor water — the toilet alone can use 27 percent of household water. Make sure your toilet is a high efficiency model, which uses less than 1.3 gallons per flush. That’s 60% to 80% less than most toilets!

    Check out dual flush toilets, which include two buttons or handles to flush different levels of water. Dual flush toilets use up to 67% less water than conventional toilets.

    If you don’t plan on getting a new toilet anytime soon, you can reduce your water use with a little gumption. Use a brick or any other similar sized durable object, and place it gently in the tank above your toilet. This will reduce the flow by decreasing the reservoir size.

    And believe it or not, you can reuse toilet paper. No… it’s not as nasty as it sounds! Buy recycled rolls of paper. Statistics have come out that say if we replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper roll with 100% recycled t.p., we could save 423,900 trees. That’s a lot of trees for such a small, stinkin’ action.

    Bathtub/Shower

    A ten minute shower uses as much as 60 gallons of water! It is simple enough to lessen your shower time and save water. For instance, doing a “navy shower”–wherein one rinses, turns off the water and lathers, and rinses again—can use as little as 3 gallons of water. As the Navy would say, stop being so “Hollywood” with your showers!

    Also, make sure your showerhead is equipped with a low-flow aerator. Along with your new showering style, you’ll be shipshape in no time!

    • Bathroom Vent

      The average American, according to www.planetclark.com, spends over 90% of their time indoors. To each their own, you may say, but here is something you may not know: indoor air quality can be five times more polluted than outdoor.

      As the home becomes more airtight and energy efficient, it needs more effective ventilation to circulate fresh air. Each house traps potentially harmful chemicals like urea formaldehyde or vinyl and other harmful pollutants like mold and dust.

      In the bathroom, where excessive moisture easily accumulates, ventilation is especially pertinent. Be sure to run your bathroom exhaust for 10 to 20 minutes after taking a shower. And if you see anything growing that shouldn’t be there, wipe it out with bio-based cleaning products, which won’t affect the secluded bathroom air as much as many scented products.

    • Medications

      Your meds are not meant to be flushed down the drain! They ultimately end up back in the waterways, and they will harm your health and harm your local environment.

      Non-controlled substances can be taken to local participating transfer stations, pharmacies, and physicians. Controlled substances can be taken to participating sheriff or police departments. For more information and to find out where exactly you can bring your medications, visit our Unwanted Medication Disposal page.

    • Toothpaste

      It is possible to make your own toothpaste from recipes found online or in books at your local library. Or you can just use baking soda. Check with your dentist office to see if they have any suggestions.

    • Deodorant

      Your deodorant can contain harmful ingredients, such as aluminum or phthalates. One way to avoid these conventional deodorants is to buy green. Check your local natural food store for better choices or you can try making your own with recipes found online.

    • Shaving

      First off, quit fooling around with those disposable razors. Instead, get a razor that will last you a long time. There are many options to choose from at your local department store.

      It is also possible to make your own shaving cream. Google recipes online and give it a try!

    • Green Cleaning Supplies

      Get yourself some hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, and borax powder. These basic products can make a world of natural cleaning supplies that are effective and not harmful to the environment. Download Clark County’s book of green cleaning recipes to get started!

    • Soap and Shampoo

      There are a couple ways to sustainably get at your essential soap and shampoo needs. Simply, you could go out and buy bulk shampoo and conditioner, which gets you the most bang for the buck. BUT, you could also make your own soap and shampoo! There are lots of recipes online or at your local craft store so check them out and see how you like it!

    • Sink

      Two words: faucet aerator. It’ll cut down on your water use while you do the same. That means not letting the water run while you brush your teeth and filling the basin with water when you shave.

    • Toilet

      The bathroom is the largest consumer of indoor water — the toilet alone can use 27 percent of household water. Make sure your toilet is a high efficiency model, which uses less than 1.3 gallons per flush. That’s 60% to 80% less than most toilets!

      Check out dual flush toilets, which include two buttons or handles to flush different levels of water. Dual flush toilets use up to 67% less water than conventional toilets.

      If you don’t plan on getting a new toilet anytime soon, you can reduce your water use with a little gumption. Use a brick or any other similar sized durable object, and place it gently in the tank above your toilet. This will reduce the flow by decreasing the reservoir size.

      And believe it or not, you can reuse toilet paper. No… it’s not as nasty as it sounds! Buy recycled rolls of paper. Statistics have come out that say if we replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper roll with 100% recycled t.p., we could save 423,900 trees. That’s a lot of trees for such a small, stinkin’ action.

    • Bathtub/Shower

      A ten minute shower uses as much as 60 gallons of water! It is simple enough to lessen your shower time and save water. For instance, doing a “navy shower”–wherein one rinses, turns off the water and lathers, and rinses again—can use as little as 3 gallons of water. As the Navy would say, stop being so “Hollywood” with your showers!

      Also, make sure your showerhead is equipped with a low-flow aerator. Along with your new showering style, you’ll be shipshape in no time!

    • Unwanted Medication Disposal

      Disposal of Unwanted Medications, Sharps and Inhalers

      Safe disposal of unwanted medications is important for the health of our families, our community, and our environment. It is important to keep these substances out of our water. Even going through the water treatment facility, there may be amounts of the medication that make it into our waterways. Flushing these medications down the toilet is not a good option. There are several options for safe disposal in Clark County.

      Prescription drugs are divided into two categories: controlled and non-controlled substances.

      Controlled substances come under the authority of the Drug Enforcement Administration and may include illegal drugs or prescription medications such as pain killers and tranquilizers.

      Non-controlled substances include over-the-counter drugs as well as prescription medications that are not regulated by the Controlled Substances Act. Your pharmacist or doctor can tell you which category a medication falls into. Proper disposal is different depending upon which type of medication you have.

       

      Related articles: Household Hazardous Waste | Recycling A–Z

    • What’s a hazardous product?

      How to identify hazardous products

      Hazardous products such as those mentioned above have the potential to harm people, pets, and wildlife. To identify potentially hazardous products, look for words on the product label such as poison, danger, warning, caution, or flammable. Hazardous products should be taken to special collection facilities for disposal. They should never be thrown in the trash because they can pose threats to public health and the environment. These threats vary according to specific properties of the product.

      Things To Consider When Purchasing Products

      • Before purchasing a product, read the label to get an indication of its properties. Be aware that the word “non-toxic” is an advertising word and has no federal regulatory definition.
      • Choose products with child resistant packaging.
      • Avoid aerosol products when possible. Aerosols disperse substances that can be inhaled deeply into the lungs and absorbed into the bloodstream.
      • Use non-hazardous or less-hazardous alternative products and recipes. One general household cleaner can serve many purposes; you do not need a different product for every cleaning problem.
      • If safer alternatives are not available, buy only the amount you will need. Make sure that you understand what hazards are associated with a product’s use or disposal.
      • Flammable: Can easily be set on fire or ignited.
      • Explosive/reactive: Can detonate or explode through exposure to heat, sudden shock, or pressure.
      • Corrosive/caustic: Can burn and destroy living tissues when brought in contact.
      • Toxic/poisonous: Capable of causing injury or death through ingestion, inhalation, or absorption. Some toxic substances are known to cause cancer, genetic damage, and fetal harm.
      • Radioactive: Can damage and destroy cells and chromosomal material. Radioactive substances are known to cause cancer, mutations, and fetal harm.
      Some materials may exhibit more than one chemical hazard; for example, they might be flammable and toxic or corrosive and combustible.

      Other Types of Household Hazardous Products

      • Medications: Pharmaceutical compounds (i.e., antibiotics, reproductive hormones, and other prescription and nonprescription drugs).
      • Sharps: Hypodermic needles, syringes with needles attached, intravenous (IV) tubing with needles attached, scalpel blades, and lancets.
      • E-waste: Electronic waste such as computers, televisions, monitors, and printers.
      • Fluorescent lights: It is important to properly recycle compact fluorescent lights (cfl) because they contain small amounts of mercury. There are multiple sites for proper disposal of fluorescent bulbs in Clark County. Visit Light Recycle to search for a drop-off location close to you. Clark Public Utilities will take up to six unwanted cfl bulbs and exchange them for one new LED bulb at their local offices.
    • Non-controlled substance disposal

      What is the safest way to dispose of unwanted medications?

      • Take them to the transfer station during special household hazardous waste operating hours
      • Ask your physician if he/she will take them back for safe disposal.
      • Ask your pharmacist if they have a program for safely disposing of unwanted medications.

      Disposal Locations

      Walgreens Pharmacy - Fisher's Landing Store ONLY
      1905 SE 164th Avenue, 360-885-2938
      Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
      Controlled and Non-Controlled Drugs Accepted
      *No Liquids, Lotions, Inhalers, Sharps or Illegal Drugs please

      Central Transfer and Recycling Center
      11034 NE 117th Avenue, Vancouver 360-256-8482
      Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 8am – 4pm

      West Van Materials Recovery Center
      6601 NW Old Lower River Road, Vancouver 360-737-1727
      Friday & Saturday, 8am – 4pm

      Washougal Transfer Station
      4020 S Grant Street, Washougal 360-835-2500
      3rd Saturday of each month, 8am – 4pm

      You should keep the following in mind when transporting unwanted medications for disposal:

      • While it is perfectly acceptable to combine all pills into one resealable plastic bag, if you get pulled over it might be easier to explain if you keep them in the original container with the medication’s name visible.
      • Make sure the container is sealed and does not leak.
      • All patient information is removed or obscured.

      Inhalers

      Inhalers should be taken to the transfer station at the locations and times listed above. You can remove the cartridge from the case, and throw the case in the trash.


    • Controlled substance disposal

      Disposal Locations (free of charge):

      Battle Ground Police Department
      507 SW 1ST Street, 360-342-5100
      Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm

      La Center Police Department
      105 W 5th Street, 360-263-2745
      Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm

      Camas Police Department
      2100 NE 3rd Avenue, 360-834-4151
      Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm

      Ridgefield Police Department
      116 North Main, 360-887-3556
      Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5pm

      Washougal Police Department
      1320 ‘A’ Street, 360-835-8701
      Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
      *No Liquids Accepted

      Vancouver Police Department
      West Precinct
      2800 NE Stapleton Road, 360-487-7355
      Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
      *No Liquids Accepted

      Vancouver Police Department
      East Precinct
      521 SE 155th Avenue, 360-487-7500
      Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm
      *No Liquids Accepted

      Walgreens Pharmacy - Fisher's Landing Store ONLY
      1905 SE 164th Avenue, 360-885-2938
      Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
      Controlled and Non-Controlled Drugs Accepted
      *No Liquids, Lotions, Inhalers, Sharps or Illegal Drugs please

      All sharps and inhalers must be taken to the transfer station for disposal (you can check with your doctor or pharmacist for possible alternatives).

      Learn more about sharps disposal

      You should keep the following in mind when transporting unwanted medications for disposal:

      • While it is perfectly acceptable to combine all pills into one resealable plastic bag, if you get pulled over it might be easier to explain if you keep them in the original container with the medication’s name visible.
      • Make sure the container is sealed and does not leak.
      • All patient information is removed or obscured.
    • Unwanted medication take-back events

      Upcoming medication take-back event

      Twice yearly, free medication take-back events are held in Clark County. The next event will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10am – 2pm. Citizens may drop off any unwanted medications free of charge and no questions asked. Let's work together to keep these substances out of the hands of children and away from our waterways. Events are a partnership of multiple Clark County agencies and the US DEA.

      Download a flyer

      Drop off Locations:

      Battle Ground Police Department
      507 SW 1st Street, Battle Ground

      Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park
      12607 SE Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver

      PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care
      33rd & Main (South Back Lot), Vancouver

      Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue
      1220 A Street, Washougal

      You should keep the following in mind when transporting unwanted medications for disposal:

      • While it is perfectly acceptable to combine all pills into one resealable plastic bag, if you get pulled over it might be easier to explain if you keep them in the original container with the medication’s name visible.
      • Make sure the container is sealed and does not leak.
      • All patient information is removed or obscured.

      Learn more about sharps disposal