Prescription Medication Disposal

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

Federal regulations prohibit any household hazardous materials collection site from accepting controlled substances without prior approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration. A controlled substance is a drug, which due to its abuse potential, is regulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Disposal Options:

Option #1: Trash disposal

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most drugs can be disposed of in your regular household trash but consumers should take certain precautions before tossing them out.  Always remember to follow any specific disposal instructions that accompanies your medication.  Do not flush prescription or non-prescription drugs down the toilet or pour them down the drain unless the information included with your medication specifically instructs you to do so.  Instead, follow these guidelines from the U.S. Dept. of Justice Office of Diversion Control:

  1. Take drug(s) out of original container.
  2. Mix drug(s) with an undesirable substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter.
  3. Put mixture in a nondescript container, such as an empty can with a lid or a sealable bag.  This will help insure these drugs are not diverted or accidentally ingested by children or pets.
  4. Place in your black trash barrel under waste so that it is not visible.

Option #2: MedReturn boxes now available at Mesa Police stations

The Mesa Police Department is the first law enforcement agency in Maricopa County to offer convenient drop-off locations for unwanted prescription drugs. The following Mesa Police stations are equipped with MedReturn boxes in their lobbies:

Unwanted prescription medications, vitamins, over-the-counter medications, pet medications, etc. can be dropped off in these boxes during normal business hours, Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Fiesta Station: Monday-Thursday 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)

Closed holidays. Occasionally, a station lobby may be closed for another reason. Feel free to call first to verify that they are open.