Don’t Flush Your Medications

Please don’t flush your drugs!

don't flush drugs

Flushing unwanted medications down a toilet, or pouring them down a drain, is a bad idea (no matter what you read on the Internet). Wastewater treatment plants, including ours, are designed primarily to treat biological wastes; they cannot remove all traces of the sophisticated chemical compounds found in today’s pharmaceuticals.

If you flush your drugs, you will pollute Suisun Bay.

Putting drugs in the trash isn’t a good idea, either. They might spill, be found by kids or animals, or be washed down storm drains and into local waters.

Here’s what to do instead

Instead of flushing or trashing unwanted medications (including pet medications and vitamins), bring them to a free drop-off site for safe disposal. Transfer pills to a sealable plastic bag before depositing them in the bin. Leave liquids in their bottles, but seal them in a bag to prevent leaks.

Please do not put sharps or anything other than medications in the container! A list of sharps disposal locations is here.

Pharmaceutical Drop-Off Sites in central Contra Costa County

Pharmaceutical disposal bin.
Pharmaceutical disposal bin.

Alamo: Sheriff’s Substation, 150 Alamo Plaza, Suite C.

Clayton: Police Dept., 6000 Heritage Trail.

Concord: Police Dept., 1350 Galindo St.

Danville:  Police Dept., 510 La Gonda Way.

Lafayette:  Police Dept., 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 130.

• Police Dept., 525 Henrietta St.
• Sheriff’s Field Ops Bldg., 1980 Muir Rd.
• Contra Costa Regional Med. Center,
2500 Alhambra Ave.

Moraga: Police Dept., 329 Rheem Blvd.

Orinda: Police Dept., 22 Orinda Way

Pleasant Hill: Police Dept., 330 Civic Dr.

San Ramon: Police Dept., 2401 Crow Canyon Rd.

Walnut Creek: City Hall, 1666 North Main St.

NEW!  Walgreens stores now have collection kiosks for unwanted medications! Take advantage of their program in our area by visiting their Walnut Creek store at 2900 Main Street.

For more information about pharmaceutical disposal, please visit our website or call 1-800-646-1431.

Here’s a video where Central San Shift Supervisor Frank Favalora and Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary Nejedly Piepho explain why flushing unwanted drugs is a bad idea: