University of Calgary and Calgary Co-op launch prescription drug drop-off program

Six Calgary Co-op locations the first in Western Canada to host Medi-Bin pilot program

June 15, 2017

Calgary, AB – The University of Calgary’s Department of Biological Sciences has partnered with Calgary Co-op to provide drop-off boxes for the safe disposal of unused and expired prescription drugs.

The goal is to raise awareness for the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association ENVIRx Program that collects expired and unused medication for safe disposal, and also gain a better understanding of participation rates in the program.

“Unsafe disposal of prescription drugs that end up in our waterways and landfills pose risk to our environment,” says Leland Jackson, biology professor at the University of Calgary. “Most people don’t know the ENVIRx program exists. By promoting it in this way, we hope more people will use the program and drop off their medication so it can be disposed of properly.”

Jackson also noted that unused prescription drugs left in medicine cabinets can end up in the hands of children or even on the street.
Researchers will compare the amount of medication that comes in over the summer and fall with previous amounts collected by the ENVIRx Program and use the demographics of the areas where the drop off bins are located to develop strategies to motivate better participation.

The program will be piloted at six Calgary Co-op Pharmacy locations starting today, June 15, 2017. Locations include: Richmond Road, Monterey, Rocky Ridge, Macleod Trail in Calgary, Sierra Springs in Airdrie, and Montrose in High River – with more potentially added as the program progresses.

“Calgary Co-op is committed to serving our community by providing exceptional customer experiences and services,” says Sonal Ejner, pharmacy professional services manager, Calgary Co-op. “Medi-Bin promotes safer and healthier communities by giving our members the ability to safely dispose of their unused and expired medications at their convenience anytime during centre hours and not just pharmacy hours.”

The Medi-Bins have been installed at the six Calgary Co-op locations noted above. They are equipped to take solid forms of prescription and over the counter drugs only. Before dropping off any medication, Calgary Co-op asks that the drugs be removed from their packaging and placed in a zip lock bag.

Media Contacts:
Sean Myers
Media Relations Advisor
University of Calgary

Robyn Soper
Senior Communications and Events Coordinator
Calgary Co-operative Association Limited
403.219.6025 ext. 6912

About the University of Calgary
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About Calgary Co-op
Owned by members, Calgary Co-op is one of the largest retail co-operatives in North America. Our locations in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, High River, Okotoks and Strathmore include: food centres, pharmacies, gas bars, car washes, commercial cardlocks, home health care centres, and wine, spirits and beer locations. With over 460,000 members, 3,850 employees, assets of $565 million and annual sales of $1.18 billion, Calgary Co-op was recognized as one of Alberta's Top 70 Employers of 2017, and is committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience through inspired team members.