Departments & Services
Over-the-counter and prescription medication
Over the counter and prescription medications should not be disposed
down the drain because waste- water treatment facilities are not
designed to remove pharmaceutical compounds and they may end up
in your local waterways, and may eventually be found in drinking
water. Properly disposing of unwanted and expired prescriptions
and over-the-counter medications in the trash promotes a healthy
aquatic environment and prevents accidental poisoning and intentional
Four Steps for Proper Disposal of Household Medications
1. Keep medicine in original container. Mark
out personal information on prescription bottles.
2. Mix liquid medicine with undesirable substances
like coffee grinds, cat litter, or dirt. Dilute pills with water,
then add coffee grinds, cat litter, or dirt.
3. Place bottles in an opaque container, like
a yogurt container, and secure lid; or wrap in a dark colored plastic
4. Hide the container in the trash. Do not recycle.
- Do not dispose of medication down the toilet or drain.
- Do not keep excess or expired medication around the home.
Download the New Jersey Department of Environmental
Protection Household Medication Disposal Guidelines (PDF)