No Drugs Down the Drain



Disposing of unused, unwanted, and expired medications

Once it was common practice to flush these medications,
(also known as pharmaceuticals) down the toilet. Your doctor or pharmacist may have directed you to do this. We now know that these substances are bad for our environment - the ground, water, and air around us.

So, what should you do?

Check with your local pharmacy to see if they accept waste medications for disposal.

To dispose of medications and pharmaceuticals in the trash, packaging suggestions include securing them in some sort of durable packaging or container to ensure that the refuse collector can safely bring the medications and pharmaceuticals to the landfill. Any nonbreakable packaging or container you use is acceptable. Secure the packaging, or the pry-off type lids on some pill containers with strong tape. To deter the misuse of the pharmaceuticals by others, residents may wish to either remove or obscure personal identification information from the label before placing the container in the trash.

There are no laws that forbid putting home generated medications and pharmaceuticals in the trash if the medications or pharmaceuticals would not be considered hazardous waste. Usually the pharmaceuticals in a home that are likely to be considered hazardous waste are those prescribed for chemotherapy. Chemotherapy Pharmaceuticals need to be returned to the clinic that dispensed them.

Empty liquid medication onto absorbent paper towels or rags and dispose of with regular trash.

Capsules and tablets should be made unusable and unattractive by wetting, breaking and crushing. The remains should be placed in the original childproof container with all your personal information removed, sealed with tape and tossed in the trash. Or, another option is to mix the medication with decaying food, used coffee grounds, or kitty litter for disposal with your household trash.

Empty container by expelling all propellant. Dispose of small empty cylinder in trash.