Is your medicine cabinet filled with drugs or medications you no longer use? Do you have excess, inherited, or expired prescription or over-the-counter drugs? Learn how to properly dispose of pharmaceutical items.
Proper disposal of medicines prevents poisoning of children or pets and misuse of medication.
Drop-off Kiosks – What items can be disposed of?
Only medications from individuals can be accepted. Inventory from pharmacies or healthcare facilities is not accepted. Disposal bins are secured to the floor and double-locked.
- Pills, tablets, capsules
- Blister packs
- Creams, ointments, lotions
- Inhalers, nebulizer
- Liquid medicine (no more than 4-oz.)
- Needles, syringes
- Vitamins, supplements
- Home-based care equipment
- Aerosol spray cans
- Alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
- No schedule I/illegal drugs
Drop-off Kiosks – Locations
Alternative Disposal Methods
If you cannot conveniently reach the disposal kiosks listed above, consider these safe disposal alternatives.
- The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sponsors drug take-back days twice a year (Fall & Spring). Visit the DEA's website to find the next scheduled event.
Disposal Site Locator
Please note that guidelines for these disposal options may be different than the City of Austin kiosks above.
- Drug Enforcement Administration Public Disposal Locations for Controlled Substances
- AWARXE – Find a safe drug disposal site near you
- The Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Program lists select Walgreens locations that have kiosks, as well as guidelines for use.
- At some pharmacies, customers can purchase pre-paid mailers for unwanted medicines. After purchasing the mailer, place your medications in the pre-addressed mailer and send it to an an environmental returns program that properly disposes of the medicines. Ask your local pharmacy for availability of these mailers.
Home Disposal (if drop-off or mail-back is not practical)
- Follow directions on the label or ask your pharmacist.
- Otherwise, empty drug containers into a sealable bag or a disposable container with a lid.
- Mix the drugs with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or cat litter.
- Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers.
- Place empty drug containers in the blue recycling cart
- Place the sealed container with the drug mixture in the trash cart.