Medical Waste

Disposing of Unwanted Medications

Expired or unwanted prescriptions or over-the-counter medications from households have traditionally been disposed of by flushing them down the toilet or a drain. Although this method of disposal prevents immediate accidental ingestion, it can cause pollution in wastewater, which has been demonstrated to cause adverse effects to fish and other aquatic wildlife. When the water is eventually reused, it can also cause unintentional human exposure to chemicals in medications.

Got Drugs? National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Drive through and drop off your unused or expired medications at our next event:

DEA Prescription Drug Take Back Day
Saturday, Oct. 24
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Drive by and drop off your medications at one of the locations below.

 Collection Site  Address
Clark High School
523 W. Spring Creek Pkwy.
Plano East Senior High School
3000 Los Rios Blvd.
Plano Senior High School 2200 Independence Pkwy
Plano West Senior High School 5601 W. Parker

Selected Pharmacies Accept Unwanted Medications

Some pharmacies recognize the importance of safety control and dispose of unused medications and offer self-funded collection programs. You can enter your zip code within the Dispose My Meds website to find the closest participating pharmacy. Upon locating the closest participating pharmacy, always contact them directly to ensure their participation and individual program guidelines.

Other Types of Pharmaceutical Waste

  • Unused ampoules, vials and IV bags should not be opened (other than to scratch out the patient's name). 
  • Wrap the container with tape to minimize the breakage, then place in an opaque plastic container (such as an empty yogurt or margarine tub). 
  • Wrap the outside of the container or bag with additional duct or shipping tape to prevent leakage and never leave needles where others can be injured.
  • Dispose of the container in the trash.
Chemotherapy drugs may require special handling. Work with your healthcare provider on proper disposal options for this type of medication.


  • Place syringes/needles in a "Sharps" or rigid plastic container with a screw on lid (like laundry detergent).
  • Mark outside container with "needles or sharps"
  • Tape or secure lid - if possible
  • Place in trash cart for weekly collections and disposal.
close carousel
close carousel
close carousel
close carousel
close carousel
close carousel
close carousel
close carousel
close carousel