Safe Medicine Disposal

Safe Medicine Disposal

Información en español

Did You Know...

Over 80% of waterways tested by the U.S. Geological Survey show traces of common medications such as acetaminophen, hormones, blood pressure medicine, Codeine, and antibiotics.

What Can I Do?

  • Safely dispose of unused and unwanted medications at an Alameda County take back location.
  • Do not flush medication down the toilet or drain.
  • Ask for starter packs from your doctor when trying a new medicine.
  • Purchase drugs in small amounts, limiting expired medications. 
  • Consider medical treatments with low environmental impact.
  • Educate your family, friends, colleagues, and community about safe medicine disposal.
  • Commit to health and wellness strategies to reduce your reliance on medications.
Safe Medicine Disposal Container

Items Accepted

Items Not Accepted

  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Doctor prescribed ointments and lotions
  • Liquid medication in leak-proof containers     
  • Pet medications
  • Controlled substances (Valium, Codeine, Vicodin)
  • Vitamins and dietary supplements 
  • Needles and sharps
  • Aerosol cans and compressed gases
  • Personal care products
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Medications from businesses
  • Empty containers
*Disclaimer:  Program is for household use only.    

Proper Packaging

Medications should be packaged correctly before dropping off at one of the sites.  To properly package your medications:
  • Remove pills from the containers.
  • Keep liquid medicines in their leak-proof containers.    
  • Remove ointment tubes from boxes.
  • Remove all excess bags, cartons, and plastic wrap.
  • Consolidate all loose pills, liquid medicine bottles and ointment tubes into a sealed Ziploc bag.
Loose Pills in Plastic Bag      


         Consolidated Medication in Plastic Bag



Did you know that California law prohibits the disposal of syringes in the trash, recycling, and organics? Needles are dangerous. They can injure people and spread diseases, which is why it is important to properly dispose of needles. 

To Properly Dispose of Needles:

Place sharps, syringes, needles, auto injectors, and lancets into a sealed FDA clear sharps container.

Where Can I Buy A Sharps Container?

Sharps containers are available at most drug stores. Kiosks in pharmacies and hospitals can accept sharps containers up to 1 gallon. 


Alameda County Take Back Locations

City of San Leandro Senior Center
13909 E. 14th St, San Leandro
(510) 577-7990


CVS Pharmacy**
1550 E. 14th St, San Leandro
(510) 351-7957

City of San Leandro Public Works
14200 Chapman Rd, San Leandro 
(510) 577-3440


CVS Pharmacy**
699 Lewelling Blvd, San Leandro
(510) 351-0951

Davis Street Clinic
3081 Teagarden St, San Leandro
(510) 347-4620


San Leandro Hospital
1401Washington Av, San Leandro
(510) 357-6500

Alameda County Sheriff's Office*
15001 Foothill Blvd, San Leandro
(510) 667-7721

Walgreen's Pharmacy*
15500 Washington Av, San Leandro
(510) 484-3917





*Accepts Controlled Substances
*Accepts Sharps

**Call for hours of operation**

For additional information and drop off locations in Alameda County, visit StopWaste's website

City of San Leandro Wastewater Treatment Plant

  The City of San Leandro is committed to providing safe and convenient disposal for unwanted medicines.  The City collaborates in the county initiative in an effort to reduce stockpiling and access to these medications.  The program is funded by the City of San Leandro Wastewater Treatment Plant which is responsible for treating five million gallons of wastewater a day.  Wastewater agencies like the City of San Leandro Treatment Plant, are funding disposal programs to serve as convenient alternatives because wastewater treatment systems are not designed to filter out pharmaceutical waste.