Medication Waste

Disposing of Medications

Prescription drugs, and even over-the-counter drugs, are not recyclable and need to be disposed of properly. Flushing them down the toilet or drain is harmful to the environment. Anything put down the drain or toilet goes through our sewer system and will end up in our lakes, streams, and rivers.

Prescription and over-the-counter medication should also not be put in with compost, or into gardens or soil. These medications can be absorbed into the soil and the plants. This can cause serious health problems for those eating the vegetables and plants from these areas. If allowed to break down, medications can get into the water system and contaminate wells and harm the people or animals drinking from those wells.

Public works has already found small amounts of medications in surface water bodies. The concern is an increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics and the interference with growth and reproduction of aquatic life.

Unused medications should be taken to a household hazardous waste collection center or event. Every county has free drop-off events sometime during the year.

Remember to remove any labels that contain personal information for privacy reasons. Shred and dispose of this information properly.

Here is a link to more information on medication disposal:

Safe Disposal

Here is a link to the OC landfills that will dispose of hazardous waste for FREE:

Hazardous Waste


Your Tustin Chiropractic & Acupuncture Clinic:

True Health & Wellness


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Remember that this information is for educational purposes only. Seek the advice of a health specialist before making any changes to your healthcare.



LA Times “The wrong way to dispose of medicine” – Donie Vanitzian