(HealthDay News) -- Medications that are expired or no longer needed shouldn't be dumped down the sink or toilet, the U.S. Home Safety Council warns. Doing so could pollute our water, making animals and other people sick.

The council offers these suggestions for the safe disposal of medication:

  • Remove the label from the bottle, then place the bottle inside a sealed plastic bag.
  • Throw the sealed bag in the garbage, and keep pets and children away from this trash.
  • If you need to dispose of pills, grind them up first. Mix the crushed pills into used coffee grounds, sand or cat litter.