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Medicine and Prescription Drugs

Unwanted medicines should never be flushed down the toilet or placed in the trash, unless specifically stated on the packaging. Instead, unused or expired medicine should be dropped off at a collection kiosk. Sharps should be placed in a FDA approved sharps container and brought to a location that accepts sharps. 

PLEASE NOTE:  The Alameda County HHW facilities can no longer accept most PRESCRIPTION DRUGS due to the DEA ban on accepting controlled substances. 

Disposal Options:

  • Dispose of your unwanted medicines at self-service kiosks, search our RE:Source guide for drop-off locations near you.
  • Get a free prepaid Mail-Back envelope sent to your homecall Med-Project 1 (844) 633-7765 or request one online by clicking here.  

Find drop-off locations

Special Instructions:

  • Needles, syringes, lancets, and other sharps must be packaged in approved sharps containers made with puncture and leak-resistant plastic. Find out more.
  • Pills should be poured out into Ziploc bags (it protects your privacy and lowers disposal costs). All of your pills may be mixed together in one bag. 
  • Liquids and creams: leave in their original container and secure caps/lids. Black out any personally identifying information and place in a Ziploc bag.
  • For questions: 800-606-6606 or email the HHW program.

Controlled Substances:

Prescription controlled substances are drugs that have a high potential for abuse and may lead to physical or psychological dependence. Due to legal restrictions, the Alameda County HHW facilities and many other drop off locations CANNOT ACCEPT CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES. Search our RE:Source guide for drop-off locations near you that accept controlled substances.

Controlled Substances Include:

  • Narcotic pain medications such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Codeine.
  • Sleeping pills such as Valium, Lunesta, and Ambien.
  • ADD/ADHS drugs such as Concerta, and Adderall.
  • Antidepressants such as Zoloft.
  • Cough syrups with Codeine.