Rx Disposal and Take-Back

Posted on May 29, 2018

Is it time to clean out your medicine cabinet? What should you do with expired, unused, or unwanted prescription medication or sharps? Never throw these items into the garbage or flush them down the toilet! They can pollute our local waterways and harm our trash collectors. Instead, follow these tips from Zero Waste Marin and our partners to safely dispose of your medication and sharps.

  • Med-Project is a program focused on medication education and safe disposal in Marin County. They offer resources including a prescription drug mail-back service and in-home disposal tips. Visit med-project.org for a list of nearby disposal locations in Marin.
  • Many local pharmacies now accept sharps and/or pharmaceutical waste. Visit marincounty.org for a comprehensive list of facilities in your area that accept sharps, pharmaceutical waste, or both.
  • The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recognizes National Prescription Drug Take Back Day every April and October. On this day, residents can bring their unwanted prescription medications to a local, participating collection site. For more information, visit deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.

Check with your local disposal outlet for details on pre-disposal procedures. For example, before you dispose of unwanted medication, place your extra tablets or pills in a Ziploc bag and put your empty vials in the garbage. Keep liquid prescription medication in original bottles and remove or mark off the label to ensure your privacy and anonymity before disposal.

Zero Waste Marin works with cities and towns throughout Marin County to educate residents about ways to safely dispose of unwanted prescription medication and improve the environment. Click HERE to download a PDF copy of this newsletter.