Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
for Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the City of Palo Alto

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Medications

Medications include over-the-counter and doctor-prescribed medicine taken orally or applied topically, like creams, lotions or shampoos, for people or pets. Does not include vitamins or dietary supplements.

Search the MED-Project location finder for more safe disposal options for unwanted and expired medication.

Household Hazardous Waste

This item should never be put in a curbside bin. For more information visit our household hazardous waste page.

Pre-filled syringes and auto-injectors with an integral or attached needle is considered a "sharp."

Old vitamins and supplements may be composted along with the cotton filler. Packaging can be recycled (ex. clean, dry plastic bottle) or put in the garbage (ex. blister packs). Silica gel packs can be reused (e.g. edible dry goods) or landfilled.

Unmedicated lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products belong in your household trash. Do not put these products down the drain or into the toilet.

Prepare your medicines for disposal before arriving at a kiosk site. Accepted items include all prescription drugs in any dosage form (e.g. pills, liquids, creams, aerosols). Protect your privacy by removing or obscuring any labels showing your personal information on drug containers or vials. You can pour all your pills into a Zip-lock bag no larger than 1 gallon in size, and recycle the vials and other containers in your home recycling. Liquids and creams should remain in their original containers and tightly closed to prevent leakage. Aerosols should have their protective caps affixed to prevent accidental discharge. Remove inhaler vials from the inhaler housing. Kiosks are located near the pharmacy area, or for hospitals and police departments, in the lobby.

At the kiosk: Take care at the kiosk not to introduce too many materials into the kiosk drop-chute at one time. Check the kiosk chute after closing to ensure the drugs dropped into the kiosk. Federal law prevents anyone from reviewing or examining the drugs you wish to dispose, so place them in the kiosk yourself – do not accept any unsolicited assistance to do so.

If there are problems with the information or services provided by MedProject.org, please contact safedrugdisposal@acgov.org.

Vendors

Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
Rite Aid Pharmacy (1991 Mountain Blvd) 1991 Mountain Blvd Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
New Oakland Pharmacy (333 9th St) 333 9th St
b/t Webster St & Franklin St
Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Medication drop-off kiosk inside. All pills, including controlled substances,should be poured out into Ziploc bags. (Recycle bottles & lids) Place original containers of liquids & creams in their own Ziploc bag. Obscure personal information.
CVS Pharmacy (175 41st St) 175 41st St Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside. All medications, including Controlled Substances. Bring pills in a ziploc bag, with liquids & creams in their own bag. Recycle plastic bottles & lids.
BART Police Department 101 18th St Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside. Place pills in clear zipper bag. Keep liquids & creams in original packaging. Obscure personal info from pill containers & recycle them. Place pill bag & bag of liquid & cream containers into the bin.
New Oakland Pharmacy (Lake Merritt) 250 E 18th Street
3rd Floor
Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Kiosk inside. All pills, including controlled substances, should be poured out into Ziploc bags. (Recycle bottles & lids) Place original containers of liquids & creams in their own Ziploc bag. Obscure personal information.
CVS Pharmacy (7200 Bancroft Ave) 7200 Bancroft Ave Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside. All medications, including Controlled Substances. Bring pills in a ziploc bag, with liquids & creams in their own bag. Recycle plastic bottles & lids.
CVS Pharmacy (2964 Broadway) 2964 Broadway Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside. All medications, including Controlled Substances. Bring pills in a ziploc bag, with liquids & creams in their own bag. Recycle plastic bottles & lids.
CVS Pharmacy (4100 Redwood Rd) 4100 Redwood Rd Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside. All medications, including Controlled Substances. Bring pills in a ziploc bag, with liquids & creams in their own bag. Recycle plastic bottles & lids.
CVS Pharmacy (344 Thomas L. Berkeley Way) 344 Thomas L. Berkeley Way Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside. All medications, including Controlled Substances. Bring pills in a ziploc bag, with liquids & creams in their own bag. Recycle plastic bottles & lids.
Highland Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy 1411 E. 31st St Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside. all medications, including Controlled Substances. Bring pills in a ziploc bag, with liquids & creams in their own bag. Recycle plastic bottles & lids in curbside recycling cart.
CVS Pharmacy (3320 Fruitvale Ave) 3320 Fruitval Ave Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside. All medications, including Controlled Substances. Bring pills in a ziploc bag, with liquids & creams in their own bag. Recycle plastic bottles & lids.
Orinda Police Department 22 Orinda Way Orinda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Palo Alto Police Department 275 Forest Avenue Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Accepts medications and controlled substances.
CVS Pharmacy 2701 Middlefield Road Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off CVS does not accept controlled substances. All medications must be in their original containers.
CVS Pharmacy 352 University Avenue Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off CVS does not accept controlled substances. All medications must be in their original containers.
Stanford Healthcare Pharmacy 875 Blake Wilbur Drive
CC1102
Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Walgreens 2605 Middlefield Rd Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Walgreens does not accept controlled substances. All medications must be in their original containers.
Walgreens 4170 El Camino Real Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Walgreens does not accept controlled substances. All medications must be in their original containers.
City of Palo Alto Household Hazardous Waste Station Program 2501 Embarcadero Way Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No controlled substances. Consolidate pills into one container & leave ointments & liquids in original container. Dispose of vitamins in the garbage.
Palo Alto Medical Foundation- Walgreens Pharmacy 795 El Camino Real
Lee Building, Level A
Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Items accepted from patients only. No controlled substances. Consolidate pills into one container & leave ointments & liquids in original container. Dispose of vitamins in the garbage.

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