Guide: How to dispose of prescription medicines in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York

Here are some ways to dispose of your unwanted medications in the tri-state.

Sandrina Rodrigues

Sep 13, 2023, 8:30 AM

Updated 216 days ago

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Have you ever needed to dispose of prescription medicines, but didn’t know how? 
If the pill bottle is empty, remove the label, or black out your personal information, and recycle it.
But if there is medication left over, you’ll want to dispose of it in a special place. 
The Food & Drug Administration says the best way to dispose of most types of unused or expired medicines (both prescription and over the counter) is to drop off the medicine at a drug takeback site, location, or program immediately.
There are some types of medicines that can be flushed, the FDA has a list of these drugs HERE. Remember, don’t flush your medicine unless it is on the flush list.
Below are some ways to dispose of your unwanted medications in the tri-state:
NOTE: Call ahead to ensure your materials will be accepted at any of these locations.

NATIONWIDE

Twice a year - in April and October - the federal Drug Enforcement Agency holds a National Take Back Day. Learn more about National Prescription Drug Take Back Day HERE.
Visit your local pharmacy to purchase pre-addressed envelopes to mail unwanted medications for incineration.
Some facilities and businesses are registered with the DEA to collect your unused or expired medicines. Find an authorized drug collection site near you HERE or call the DEA Diversion Control Division Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 for more information about these collection sites.

CONNECTICUT

In Connecticut there are several ways that consumers can safely dispose of unwanted medications.
Put them in the trash following THESE instructions for safe disposal. 
CLICK HERE to check if your local police station has a drug drop off box.

NEW JERSEY

New Jersey offers secured drop boxes in the headquarters of local police departments. Consumers from anywhere in the state can visit the boxes seven days a week, to drop off unwanted and expired medications. 
The drop boxes accept solid pharmaceuticals such as pills, capsules, patches, inhalers, and pet medications. They cannot accept syringes or liquids. 
CLICK HERE for a list of departments where the boxes are available. 
For the hours of availability and other information, contact the police departments or call the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at (800) 242-5846.
Follow THESE instructions to safely dispose of certain medicines in the trash.
Many New Jersey hospitals accept used needles and syringes when put in containers using THESE STEPS. Refer to THIS GUIDE for specific locations and contact information.

NEW YORK STATE

CLICK HERE to find a free collection site near you.
Follow THESE instructions to safely dispose of certain medicines in the trash.
All New York state hospitals and nursing homes are required by law to act as collection centers for used household sharps, including syringes and lancets, with no identification required. Make sure sharps are packaged safely in a puncture-proof container.

NEW YORK CITY

Bring unwanted and expired medicines to a SAFE Disposal Event, or use THIS MAP to locate a pharmaceutical and sharps drop-off location.


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