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Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

Disposal of Unwanted Medicines

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) and Sharps Compliance, Incorporated have begun an unused pharmaceutical disposal program in forty states nationwide, including Maryland. NCPA's researchable database can be found at Sharps' database can be found at Both of these databases allow residents to search by zip code to find local pharmacies that are accepting select, unwanted prescriptions for proper disposal.

Unwanted medicines can also be taken to the one day collection events held by Baltimore County's Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability for proper disposal or can be disposed of safely in the routine garbage collection if a few simple steps are taken: 

  1. Take the medicines out of their original containers and mix with an undesirable material such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
  2. Put the mixture into a sealable plastic bag or disposable container with a lid (such as a margarine container).
  3. Place the sealed container into a trash can.
  4. Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty prescription containers by covering with black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off.
  5. Place prescription containers in the trash.
  6. Non-prescription bottles may be placed out for recycling collection.

Do not flush unwanted medicines down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so.

For more information contact the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability at 410-887-3745.

Revised February 20, 2013

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