Medicine and Prescription Drugs

Alternative ways to recycle
Hazardous Waste Drop-Off

Scroll to the bottom for recycling information on empty #5 plastic pill bottles. 

Unused, unwanted and expired medications (including narcotics) should NEVER go in the recycling, trash or toilet, but can be taken for responsible disposal to one of the following:

Local Retailer Take Back: Some pharmacy retailers now have convenient collection for used medications at 24 hour locations.  (sharps are not allowed) 

More Information on Med Drop Off in California


EMPTY pill bottles that are made of #5 plastic are too small to recycle curbside (they fall through our recycling machines during the sorting processs), however, they can be dropped off for recycling at the Burbank Recycle Center and placed in our #5 plastic collection bin (since these are already sorted).  Please keep the lid and the bottle together.  Remember, only EMPTY #5 bottles will be accepted.  It is recommended to remove the labels with any resident information. 

Other options:

Mail in program:  Matthew 25: Ministries

Good Rx Health article with plenty of suggestions.



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