Department of Public Works

No Drugs Down the Drain
Schedule Your guide to household hazardous waste

Do not flush unused, unwanted, and expired medications down the toilet or put them in drains!

How should I dispose of my medications?

  • Take to free HHW collection events; or

  • Take to drop-off sites at Antelope Valley Environmental Collection Center (AVECC), EDCO Recycling and Transfer Center (EDCO) or at SAFE Centers; or

  • Drop off at a designated location during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

  • Return your medications to a pharmacy near you. Some pharmacies and other locations offer take-back and/or mail- back programs.

What are medications, pharmaceuticals, and drugs?

  • Prescription drugs
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.
  • Cold/flu remedies
  • Antiseptics (germ killing liquids)
  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone replacement drugs
  • Veterinary medicines
Prescription Medication Prescription Medication Prescription Medication

It is illegal for household hazardous waste collection centers to collect controlled substances. These are drugs that have a potential for addiction and/or abuse such as narcotics and tranquilizers. Common controlled substances include codeine, phenobarbital, and anabolic steroids. Please contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for disposal information on controlled and non-controlled substances at their stations.

Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program
Click Here for Details
Why is this important?

Medications flushed down the toilet or in drains pass through the sewer system and eventually enter our streams, lakes, and rivers. Medicines and synthetic hormones have been detected in trace amounts in water bodies. This could lead to increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics and interference with growth and reproduction in aquatic organisms such as fish and frogs.

The presence of medications in the environment is a complex issue and the risk to humans and the environment is still being determined. With tens of thousands of medicinal products on the market and more being developed each year, the long-term risks have not been determined on the effects on the environment. However, in order to minimize the potential negative and irreversible impacts, it is important that we limit the disposal of waste medications to the sewer.

The California Pharmacists Association has partnered with No Drugs Down the Drain and recognizes the need to divert waste medicines from the sewer. The Drug Take-Back Network serves as a central information source for parties interested in learning about drug take-back and disposal issues.
Managed by the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, Environmental Programs Division
Toll Free Phone Number: 1(888) CLEAN LA
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