- A bottle of milk of magnesia (purchased, strange as it may sound, because I read that it could be used as a deodorant. It worked reasonably well, but I discovered that for me at least, its laxative properties are still apparent when it's only applied topically. Don't ask me how it's possible; all I know is that it's a side effect I wasn't willing to live with.)
- A bottle of iron supplements in tablet form, which I had to stop taking because they had the opposite effect from the milk of magnesia (though one helpful friend suggested I should just use both and let them cancel each other out).
- A bottle of biotin supplements in capsule form.
I consulted the website of the Food and Drug Administration, which says the recommended ways to dispose of medicines are, in order:
- Follow the instructions on the label (there aren't any on these packages, so no help there)
- See if your community has a "drug take-back program" (New Jersey has them for prescription drugs only, so no help there)
- If all else fails, dispose of them in the trash, after first removing them from their original containers, "mixing them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter," and then sealing them in a new leak-proof container. The purpose of this is to prevent anyone from swiping them out of your trash and using them inappropriately.
Finding a reliable answer to this question proved tricky. I found an article on eHow that says supplements can be ground up and added to compost, but that's hardly a reliable source. Likewise, some folks on the GardenWeb forum thought this was fine, but while they're mostly experienced gardeners, they're not exactly soil scientists. So then I tried looking up the individual supplements, but the results weren't much better. Searching on "can you compost iron supplements" turned up several sources suggesting that this is a reasonable idea, but again, no reliable ones. And "can you compost biotin" and "can you compost milk of magnesia" got no useful hits at all.
So thus far, these three bottles continue to sit out on the bathroom counter while I waffle about what to do with them. I fear that at some point, I may end up just shoving them back into the medicine chest to get them out of the way—which would kind of defeat the purpose of cleaning out the cabinet in the first place.