Medicine and Prescription Drugs

Alternative ways to recycle
Hazardous Waste

Empty pill bottles can be disposed of in your recycling container; the caps go in the garbage. If a container has a cap that is made out of a different material, the cap should be removed and placed in the garbage.

As for the medicines themselves, do not flush unused or expired medicines down the toilet, the drain, or put them in the garbage or recycling carts. To dispose of medications, choose one of the following disposal options:

  1. Schedule free appointments online at or by calling (408) 299-7300.
  2. View the drop-off locations below or find a drop-off bin near you.
  3. Mailback services are available upon request. Complete a request form here.

Local drop-off bin locations include (please confirm with specific locations in advance):

  • Kaiser: 260 International Circle
  • Friendly Pharmacy One: 485 Lewis Rd #D
  • Senter Pharmacy: 2643 Senter Rd #A
  • Evergreen Pharmacy: 2365 Quimby Rd #150
  • Evergreen Pharmacy: 2690 S White Rd
  • Medex Pharmacy: 405 E Santa Clara St.
  • Bascom Pharmacy: 105 N Bascom Ave #101
  • Savco Pharmacy 455 O’Connor Drive #190
  • Santa Clara Co. Sheriff’s Office: 55 West Younger Ave
  • NEMS Lundy Pharmacy: 1870 Lundy Ave
  • iCare Pharmacy: 1727 Berryessa Rd
  • Alum Rock Pharmacy: 1855 Alum Rock Ave #A
  • Los Alamitos Pharmacy: 115 North Jackson Ave #130
  • Jackson Medical Pharmacy: 266 N Jackson Ave #8
  • Kings Pharmacy: 2323 Montpelier Dr
  • Creekside Pharmacy: 1863 Alum Rock Ave #A

Find other local drop-off bins (for medications including narcotics) by searching or


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


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