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

Information is constantly changing! Call ahead to verify hours and availability.


This item is hazardous and requires proper disposal.

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, please contact


Additional Online Resources for Medications

  • MedPro Disposal -
    Large quantity
  • MED-Project: Bay Area Meds Drop-Box Location Finder -
    Online location finder. Cross out or remove personal identifying information on the medicated liquid or cream containers and place solid medicines in a sealed plastic bag for drop-box disposal. Recycle rigid plastic pill containers at home.
  • Walgreens Medication Disposal Kiosk Locator -
    Most U.S. Walgreens (not US territories) have a medication disposal kiosk to collect unwanted prescriptions, including controlled substances and over-the-counter medications year-round at no cost to customers during open hours. All Walgreens pharmacies that do not offer a safe medication disposal kiosk offer a take home safe medication disposal kit available upon patient request at the pharmacy counter.

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