A Solution For My Pills, Pills, Pills
I take a lot of prescription medications for my various ailments, so around my house those little amber pill bottles are legion. I used to just put them in the recycling, but then I learned about a charity called The Malawi Project that collected prescription pill bottles and sent them to Malawi, where medications are dispensed in paper bags (unideal for many reasons). "Perfect!" I thought, and immediately started saving my pill bottles so that I could have a nice little package to ship off to the charity. I had collected quite a few pill bottles over probably seven or eight months, and I was ready to ship them off. I opened the website to get the address... and learned that the program had been discontinued. I missed the cutoff by just a few days, in fact. "Ok. There have to be other people collecting pill bottles for charity. Just Google it!" I thought to myself, naively optimistically. Over an hour of Googling later and every charity program that accepted donations of empty pill bottles I could find had been discontinued. (I suppose this is a good thing - all the programs were discontinued because the response was so overwhelming.)
Now here I was with eight months worth of empty pill bottles, all cleaned and ready to go, and nowhere to send them. Plus, from all my research, I'd now learned that when I put pill bottles in the recycling, they were probably not even getting recycled at all! I'm already super skeptical of my city's recycling program (we throw everything in one all-purpose dumpster in the alley, and the city "takes care of everything for us! ;)" which just feels like a dumpster full of lies to me), so when I read that a lot of times pill bottles are too small to be caught as an actual recyclable, and are instead sorted as trash, I thought, "If we even have recycling, that's totally happening here."
Even more Googling later, and I learned about the Preserve Gimme 5 program, which accepts #5 recyclables and turns them into Preserve products like toothbrushes and other plastics. They have drop off locations, which you can find on their website, or if none are available near you, you can mail your products to Preserve. They have a very easy label that you just print off, fill out, and tape to your package. Then send it off and breathe a sigh of relief, because you finally found a solution to your little pill problem. It cost me $16 to mail this box, but remember, that's eight months worth of pill bottles, and I don't have an option for dropping them off anywhere in person that I could find. To me, knowing that these little bottles aren't going right into a landfill is worth $16 every eight months. Plus, if you have any other #5 recyclables, you can add them to your Preserve Gimme 5 box. All the info you need can be found here.