Last Resort Disposal Instructions

Taking your unwanted medicines to a take-back program is the safest and most environmentally protective way to dispose of them.  Take-back programs are operating in a few counties, and are the right way to dispose of medicines.  If no take-back locations are available to you, follow these “last resort” steps before carefully disposing of your medicines in the trash.  Disguising your medicines before disposing them in the garbage is critical to prevent a child, teen or pet from getting the medicines and accidentally ingesting them.

Disposal instructions, if a medicine take-back location is not available:
For chemotherapy drugs, contact your prescribing medical office as they may accept return of those medicines.
For all other drugs:

  1. Do not flush medicines down the toilet or drain.
  2. Keep the medication in its original container.
  3. To discourage consumption of the medicines, add something unappealing, such as kitty litter or coffee grounds. Do not crush the pills.
  4. Tape the container lid shut with tape, place in a sealable bag, and then place in a non-transparent container to ensure that the contents cannot be seen.
  5. Discard the container in the garbage. Do not place in the recycling bin. Make sure your trash cannot be accessed by children, pets, or others who might be looking in the garbage for drugs.

Trash disposal is a  does not adequately protect people and our environment from exposure to potentially dangerous drugs.