Medicine disposal


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.

Flushing expired or unwanted medicines down the toilet can harm the San Francisco Bay.

No le dé drogas a la Bahía. Obtenga información sobre cómo deshacerse en forma segura de los medicamentos que ya no necesita.


Thank you for doing your part to protect the Bay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the disposal sites for unwanted drugs and medicines?

EBMUD established free pharmaceutical disposal bins at various locations in our service area. Check BayWise for collection sites throughout the Bay Area.

What types of medicines can go into the disposal bins?

  • Unused and expired prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications (UC Berkeley Tang Center Pharmacy is the only EBMUD-sponsored site accepting controlled substances.)
  • 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?

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 sixteen 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.

List of Disposal Sites



Alameda Police Station
(accepts controlled substances)
1555 Oak Street
Mon-Sun, 8am-8pm
Restricted Access - Call before you go
(510) 337-8340


Albany Senior Center
846 Masonic Avenue
Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm


Berkeley Transfer Station
1201 2nd Street
Mon-Sat, 8am-4:30pm

UC Berkeley Tang Center Pharmacy
(accepts controlled substances)
2222 Bancroft Way
Mon-Fri, 8am-4:30pm

United Pharmacy
(accepts controlled substances)
2929 Telegraph Avenue
Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat, 9am-2pm


Emeryville Senior Center
4321 Salem Street
Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm


Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste*
2100 E. 7th Street at 23rd Avenue
Wed-Fri, 9am-2:30pm
Sat, 9am-4pm
Closed Thanksgiving week and December 24-31
*Alameda County residents only. 

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)

Oakland Senior Centers
Downtown - 200 Grand Avenue
East - 9255 Edes Avenue
North - 5714 Martin Luther King Jr Way
West - 1724 Adeline Street
Mon-Fri, 9am-4:30pm (all locations)