Don't Flush Your Medications

Image of pills
Do you have unused or expired over-the-counter or prescription medication in your cabinet?
Dispose of them properly to help prevent misuse and accidental poisonings and to protect the environment. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, as well as local organizations, host "take-back" days, when residents can bring medications to a designated site for proper disposal. Learn more about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative.

You also can pick up a drug disposal kit at Health Department offices and other locations.

General Home Medical Disposal Information

Don't flush unused medicines. 

Why? Because they can end up in our rivers and streams. To help protect our environment, throw unused, unwanted or expired over-the-counter and prescription medicines in the trash. Don’t flush medicines — except when specifically instructed by the label.

Check the pill bottle for any instructions on proper disposal. If none are present, follow these steps:

  • Remove medicine from original containers. Do not crush tablets or capsules.
  • Mix medicine with undesirable substance like kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
  • Place mixture in a tightly sealable bag or container and throw away in trash.
  • Black out all personal information on the prescription label so that it is unreadable.

Get more information on how to throw away medicines safely PDF icon.

More Information

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

ADA Accessibility | Website Accessibility
Awards | FOIA | Mobile | Using this Site | Web Disclaimer & Privacy Policy | Get Adobe Reader
Official site of the County of Fairfax, Virginia, © Copyright 2015

Website Feedback Website Feedback    Globe with various flags representing Web site language translations   Language Translations

Return to Graphic Version