The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) reminds residents to not dump medications or other chemicals into any indoor or outdoor drain. The prescription drugs can harm aquatic life after being transported into the Sarasota Bay estuary through stormwater pipes.
Sarasota and Manatee County have approved places to dispose unused or expired medications safely. In Sarasota County medications can be dropped off at the Sarasota County Sherriff’s Offices at 2071 Ringing Blvd., in Sarasota or 4531 State Road 776 in Venice. Drop offs can also be made at Environmental Waste Management at the following locations: North County at 8750 Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota; Central County at 4010 Knights Trail Road in Nokomis; and South County at 250 S. Jackson Road in Venice. In Manatee County, the drop off location is the Manatee County’s Sheriff Ops Center located at 600 US Highway 301, Bradenton.
More than 100 pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and streams throughout the world. More than 4 billion prescriptions are filled in the U.S. every year, and researchers estimate as much as a third of the dispensed medication goes unused.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program is dedicated to restoring the area's greatest natural asset—Sarasota Bay. Its unique program strives to improve water quality, increase habitat and enhance the natural resources of the area for use and enjoyment by the public. Sarasota Bay is one of 28 protected estuaries in the U.S. The SBEP was founded in 1989 and its partners include Sarasota County, Manatee County, City of Sarasota, City of Bradenton, Town of Longboat Key, Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.