Dispose of Medicines Safely
We now know pharmaceutical drugs cannot be fully removed by traditional wastewater treatment. Flushing expired or unwanted medicines down the toilet can harm the San Francisco Bay. The best way to safely get rid of your expired and unwanted medicines is to discard them at a designated collection site.
No le dé drogas a la Bahía. Obtenga información sobre cómo deshacerse en forma segura de los medicamentos que ya no necesita.
Where are the disposal sites for unwanted drugs and medicines?
What types of medicines can go into the disposal bins?
- Unused and expired prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications
- Pet medicines
- Prescription strength liquids and creams
How do I use the disposal bin?
- Pills/capsules: take them out of their plastic bottles and put the medicines in a plastic zipper bag; recycle the plastic pill bottles at home.
- Liquid medication: block out your personal information on the container; leave the medication in the original container and put in a leak-proof plastic bag.
- Drop the bagged medicines into the disposal bin.
What can't go into the disposal bins?
- Controlled substances (12k pdf) should be taken to the Alameda Police Station.
- Vitamins and supplements can be safely disposed of in regular trash.
- Thermometers, needles, sharps.
- IV bags, infectious waste.
- Medications from businesses or clinics (the bins are for East Bay residents).
Why is EBMUD doing this?
Because not all the ingredients in prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines are removed during wastewater treatment, medicines can find their way to the Bay where they pose a risk to aquatic life. The disposal bins help to keep pharmaceutical waste out of the wastewater treatment process in the first place and are a safer alternative to dumping them down the drain.
Since EBMUD's pharmaceutical disposal program began in 2009, we have collected more than three tons of expired medications from East Bay residents.
Who pays for this program?
Disposing of your unwanted medicines at the sites listed is free. EBMUD collects pollution prevention fees from our wastewater customers to help fund this program.
Alameda Police Station
1555 Oak Street
Albany Senior Center
846 Masonic Avenue
Berkeley Transfer Station
1201 2nd Street
2929 Telegraph Avenue
Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 9am-2pm
Emeryville Senior Center
4321 Salem Street
EBMUD Administration Building Lobby
375 11th Street at Franklin Street
Mon-Fri, 8am-4:30pm, except EBMUD holidays
Elihu Harris State Building Lobby
1515 Clay Street
Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm, except state holidays
Oakland Fire Department
1401 98th Avenue at International Blvd, or
1445 14th Street at Mandela Parkway
Everyday 8am-8pm (ring the doorbell)
Thank you for doing your part to protect the Bay.