Instead of flushing leftover medicine down the toilet, the federal government is urging consumers to mix unused drugs with kitty litter, dog feces or sawdust before they toss it in the trash.

The goal is to make controlled substances unappealing to drug abusers without adding dangerous substances to the environment, as often happens when prescription drugs are flushed through the sewer system.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says in a press release: Consumers should always check patient information accompanying the product to see if it contains specific directions for disposing of unused medication, and follow those directions. If no specific information is provided then unused medication should be properly disposed of by mixing it with undesirable substances (e.g., old coffee grounds, used kitty litter), sealing the mixture in a container and placing it in the trash. Whenever possible, unused medication may also be donated to authorized community prescription drug take-back programs.

The agency is working with a private contractor to distribute flyers at 6,300 pharmacies across the USA. They’ll evaluate the results at the end of the 26-week pilot project, which is costing the government about $700,000.