Cattaraugus County Public Health: Prevent, Promote, Protect

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How to safely dispose of unused or expired medications at home

Please be sure to watch the video at http://www.SmarxtDisposal.net

  1. 1. DO NOT FLUSH unused medications and DO NOT POUR them down a sink or drain. *
  2. Be Proactive and Dispose of Unused Medication In Household Trash. When discarding unused medications, ensure you protect children and pets from potentially negative effects:
    • Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc.), add water to dissolve it.
    • Add kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or any material that mixes with the medication and makes it less appealing for pets and children to eat) to the plastic bag.
    • Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash. 
    • Remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them away.
  3. Check for Approved State and Local Collection Programs. Another option is to check for approved state and local collection alternatives such as community based household hazardous waste collection programs. In certain states, you may be able to take your unused medications to your community pharmacy or other location for disposal

Note: The FDA recommends Disposal by Flushing of a small number of medications. Current list of Medications.

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Cattaraugus County Health Department Public Health for Healthy Communities

For more information about the Cattaraugus County Health Department services, please call us in Olean Toll-Free 1-800-251-2584

Hours: 8:30AM to 4:30PM Monday-Friday except on holidays at all locations

View more specific contact information.

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