Safe Medication Disposal
UCSF provides safe medication disposal options for our patients, staff, and students.
Did you know that flushing unused medications in the toilet sends those medications directly to the ocean or bay? Modern waste water treatment plants are not designed to remove medications from the waste water. Flushed antibiotics can kill the good bacteria needed for waste water treatment plants to work properly.
To avoid the build up of these pharmaceuticals in our bay or ocean habitats, please use the below preferred safe medication disposal options by UCSF campus locations:
Medication Disposal FAQ
How should you dispose of your medications?
Solid medications should be removed from their containers and consolidated to a clear, plastic zipper bag. Keep liquids and creams in the original packaging.
What medications can be disposed of in the medication drop-off bins?
Medications that can be dropped off include: prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, medicated creams and liquids, and pet medications.
Note: only some sites accept scheduled II-V controlled medications. Please check with the site or
visit takebackdrugs.org to determine whether the site accepts controlled medications.
Where can you dispose of used sharps?
Visit safeneedledisposal.org to identify sharps disposal sites located throughout California.
How should you dispose of used sharps?
Place the sharps in a strong, plastic container. Sharps disposal containers can be picked up at select pharmacies. Visit safeneedledisposal.org to identify sites distributing sharps disposal containers.
How can you mail-back your medications?
Visit med-project.org or call (844) 633-7765 to request a Mail-Back Package.
For more information on proper disposal, visit the SF Environment website.