Medicine and Prescription Drugs

Alternative ways to recycle
Hazardous Waste

Unwanted and outdated prescription medications can be disposed of through the program Operation Medicine Cabinet and the Safe Medicine Disposal Program.

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Mendocino County Sheriff Office
589A Low Gap Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
(707) 463-4411
Map & Directions

Police Department
300 Seminary Ave
(707) 463-6242
Map & Directions

Senior Center
497 Leslie Street
(707) 462-4343
Map & Directions

Accepted items: prescription and over-the-counter pills and capsules, liquid medications (including ointments, lotions and creams in sealed containers), veterinary medications, vitamins, supplements, homeopathic remedies, medical patches, inhalers (empty), medical samples.

Unaccepted items: epi-pens and other needles/sharps/syringes, controlled substances, illegal drugs, medical marijuana, IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, chemotherapy drugs (ask your health care provider for disposal options), other medical waste, thermometers, aerosol cans, personal care products (body lotion, shampoo, etc.), batteries.

The Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority also accepts unused medicine through their HazMobile Program.


Don’t Flush Down the Toilet

Drugs dissolve when they are flushed down the toilet and can contaminate drinking water sources.


Always Scratch Out Personal Information

To protect your identity and privacy, scratch out any identifying information before disposing of empty or filled containers. Any empty bottles can be thrown in the trash.

Alternative Ways to Recycle


Give to a DEA-Authorized Collector

Some pharmacies and law enforcement offices are registered with the DEA as authorized drug collectors. You can drop-off unused or unwanted drugs at these locations. Find a DEA-authorized disposal location.

walgreens logo

Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Program

Select Walgreens locations now have kiosks for safe medication disposal. Find a kiosk here.


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Each April and October the DEA hosts a nationwide drug take back day. Find a drop off location and the date of the next take back day.


Pill Bottle Donation

Donate empty plastic pill bottles to Matthew 25: Ministries for inclusion in shipments of medical supplies and for shredding and recycling.

Ways to Reuse

Repurpose Empty Pill Bottles

Put empty pill bottles to good use by repurposing them as travel containers and organizers for items such as cotton swabs, bobby pins, spare buttons, mini sewing kits, jewelry, coins, earbuds, and other knickknacks and supplies.

Did You Know?

Don't Rush to Flush Unwanted Medications - English Video

Don't Rush to Flush Unwanted Medications - Spanish Video