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Jeruba's avatar

How do I safely and discreetly dispose of a very small amount of a possibly dangerous unknown substance?

Asked by Jeruba (52071points) October 15th, 2020
11 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

It’s a bit of powder, only enough to fill a single Tylenol capsule or two, but more than enough to be toxic and possibly highly intoxicating if it’s one of the things it could be.

How I came by it is not relevant, nor is the reason that I’m suspicious of it without knowing what it is.

I want to get rid of it without endangering anyone or anything, preferably by neutralizing it. If not that, then at least by embedding it in something that won’t release it.

I have no intention of turning it over to any authority.

What should I do?

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chyna's avatar

Since it’s such a small amount, I think it would be okay to flush it down the toilet. That amount will be so diluted, it won’t hurt anything.
If you aren’t comfortable with doing that, you can mix it in with flour and toss it in the garbage. That too, will dilute to such an insignificant amount, it won’t hurt anything.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Yeah even cops say wrap it up and throw in the trash, about needles and meth. Sorry, I work in a rough area.

Kardamom's avatar

Many Police Departments and medical facilities (at least here in California) have receptacles where you can drop off unused, expired, or no longer needed medications, no questions asked.

Jeruba's avatar

Thank you.

I thought about flushing it, and because there’s so little of it, I do think it would be safe enough if just the powder went down.

The thing is, it’s in a small plastic zip bag, and much of it simply clings to the inside of the bag, as anything will do with static electricity. I want to dispose of the whole thing, bag and all. I can’t flush the bag.

I don’t want to shake it out or rinse it in the sink. I don’t want to touch it. Some things are very potent even in tiny amounts, and some can be absorbed through the skin. I don’t know that this isn’t one of them.

I also don’t want to expose any animals to it.

Wrap it up how, @KNOWITALL?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

My pharmacy has a drop box for expired and unwanted medicine. Can you ask if your pharmacy has something similar? If they do, toss the whole bag in that receptacle.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I would highly recommend that you don’t touch the substance. And. Just flush it.
If you want to know what it is, take it to the police.

KNOWITALL's avatar

My local pd said just wrap it up in a trash bags and tie shut and put in trash. Crack pipe and small baggie.

Cupcake's avatar

Agree with @Hawaii_Jake – take it to a pharmacy or county collection site for unused pharmaceuticals. Please don’t introduce whatever it is into the water supply. It sounds to me (I’m reading way into things) that there may be a concern of fentanyl contamination, which is lethal. Don’t open the bag, don’t dump it anywhere. Safe public collection sites are no questions asked. Next tier of safety is to wrap it up and put it in the garbage, but this is in no way as safe. You’re not talking about drug paraphernalia here, but actual drug (potentially/presumably).

Jeruba's avatar

Ok. Well, here’s what I did:

• Placed the little 1¼” x 1¼” baggie inside a sealable bottle.
• Opened the top of the baggie just a little and then immediately washed my hands.
• Poured 91% alcohol into the baggie and closed it. Washed my hands again.
• Poured a solution of water and bleach into the bottle around the baggie and capped the bottle.
• Wrapped the bottle in a length of aluminum foil and then wrapped that in heavy packaging tape.
• Put the whole works into the garbage can inside a plastic disposal bag with some very garbagey garbage.
And finally,
• Added a week’s worth of kitchen garbage on top of it, for collection tomorrow.

Many thanks for all advice. I thought about this quite a lot and finally did what made the most sense to me. If that was the wrong thing, well, next time I’ll do it differently.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

That sounds completely acceptable.

MrGrimm888's avatar

It’s important to remember that possession of an illegal substance, will make you liable.

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