Departments & Services

Household Medication

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Includes:
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 abuse.

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 bag.

4. Hide the container in the trash. Do not recycle.

Important Information

  • 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)