Remember Expired and Unneeded Medications
Medications, especially prescription medications, over-the-counter pills, and dietary supplements, don’t always get disposed of properly. The Food and Drug Administration urges the use of a take-back site, program, or location.
If that option isn’t available, some medications are OK to flush down the sink or toilet. That’s because just one dose of them could be extremely harmful or fatal for someone else, and the impact on the environment is most likely negligible. Proper disposal keeps children, other adults in the household, and pets safe.
Put medication in the trash if a drop-off location is not available and flushing is not recommended. In these cases, mix the medication with dirt, cat litter, or something unappetizing (don’t crush capsules or tablets). Put the mixture in a plastic bag, and seal the bag. Place the bag into the trash. Scratch out the information on prescription labels, and dispose of these containers as well.
To dispose of needles and sharps: Put them in a disposal container specifically for needles and sharps right after you use them. Keep this container in a safe place inaccessible to children and pets.
When the container is about three-fourths full, follow your community’s guidelines for disposal. In many places, you can drop the containers off at hazardous waste collection locations, medical offices, pharmacies, police stations, and fire stations. Many communities let you put the lids on disposal containers, seal them with duct tape, and add a “DO NOT RECYCLE,” label. You can then add the container to your household trash.