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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.

Household Hazardous Waste

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

Prepare your drugs for disposal before arriving at a Medication Takeback 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 mechanism. Kiosks are located near the pharmacy area, or for hospitals and police departments, in the lobby.

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 & the packaging recycled (ex. clean, dry plastic bottle) or put in the garbage (ex. blister packs) as they are not considered medications/hazardous. Silica gel packs can be reused (e.g. edible dry goods) or landfilled.

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.

Per CalRecycle, please do not put unmedicated lotions, cosmetics, fragrances, sunscreen agents, and similar products down the drain or into the toilet; the best "somewhere else" to throw these items is your household trash. Landfills are the best place at present to dispose of personal care products when they are no longer being used.

Vendors

Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
Tenderloin Police Station 301 Eddy St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles. Keep liquid medicine in original container. Wait times may apply, CALL AHEAD!
Tennyson Pharmacy 589 W Tennyson Rd Hayward Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside.
UC Berkeley, University Health Services, Tang Center 2222 Bancroft Ave
Room 115
Berkeley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box in pharmacy.
Union City Police Department 34009 Alvarado Niles Blvd Union City Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside lobby
United Pharmacy 2929 Telegraph Avenue Berkeley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Drop-box inside.
Veolia Environmental Services 1125 Hensley St Richmond Safe Disposal Paid Mail-in Non-DEA pharmaceuticals
Visitacion Valley Pharmacy 100 Leland Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles. Keep liquid medicine in original container.
Walgreens 500 Parnassus Ave., Level J San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only available during pharmacy hours. Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles.
Walgreens 5280 Geary Blvd. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only available during pharmacy hours. Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles.
Walgreens 901 Hyde St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Walgreens 500 Parnassus Ave., Level J San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles.
Walgreens 45 Castro St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Walgreens 3838 California St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Walgreens 2605 Middlefield Rd Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off CVS 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 CVS does not accept controlled substances. All medications must be in their original containers.
Walgreens 1189 Potrero Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only available during pharmacy hours. Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles.
Walgreens 2690 Mission St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only available during pharmacy hours. Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles.
Walgreens 275 Sacramento St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only available during pharmacy hours. Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles.
Walgreens 3201 Divisadero St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only available during pharmacy hours. Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles.
Walgreens 498 Castro St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only available during pharmacy hours. Mix all pills into a plastic bag. Remove any personal info and recycle empty pill bottles.

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