Town of Andrews, NC

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Medications

Published on: Apr 17, 2020 General News
APD has one collection box for unwanted prescription medications available 24/7 @ 1101 Main Street in Andrews

Please put prescription pills, patches, and capsules in resealable, zippered plastic bags (no loose pills, please).

We cannot accept the following items in the collection boxes:

  • Liquids
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Pill bottles
  • Medication containers and packaging
  • Sharps
  • Bio medical waste
  • Illegal street drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that some medications be disposed of by flushing them down the toilet.

If you have liquids place it in kitty litter or coffee grounds, seal it in a plastic bag, and then place it in your household trash.

Safe ways to dispose of your sharps (as epi pens, syringes, lancets, needles)

Used needles and other sharps are dangerous to people and pets if not disposed of safely because they can injure people and spread infections that cause serious health conditions. Never place loose needles and other sharps in the household or public trash cans or recycling bins and never flush them down the toilet. These acts put sanitation workers, janitors, housekeepers, household members, and children at risk of being harmed. To dispose of sharps you should consider one of the following options:

Mail-back Programs

Mail-back disposal programs allow home sharps users to mail used sharps to licensed disposal facilities as a safe disposal option. Such programs charge a fee for this service. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist, or search the yellow pages or Internet using key words “sharps mail-back”.

Needle Destruction Devices (that bend, break, incinerate or shear needles)

  • A destruction device that incinerates needles and lancets can be used at home to destroy needles immediately after use. These small, portable devices use a few seconds of high heat to melt needles and reduce them to BB-size balls. Previously used only in healthcare facilities, these devices are now available in smaller, less expensive models for home use.
  • A needle cutter or clipper automatically stores cut needles in a small refuse reservoir. Once the sharp is destroyed by heat or cutting, you can place the remains in a sealed container such as a detergent bottle and place it in your household trash (not recycling).

Syringe Exchange Programs (SEP)

Sharps users can safely exchange used needles for new needles. Contact the North American Syringe Exchange Network at 253-272-4857.

Legal, but less safe

In North Carolina it is currently legal to put used sharps in a laundry detergent bottle with a lid and place that bottle into the garbage. However, this is highly discouraged because of the injury and health risks it places on sanitation workers and processing facility workers. It is best to use one of the above options to dispose of used sharps.

Never place loose needles and syringes in the trash!

  • Label container.
  • Do Not Recycle.
  • Put sharps in point-first.
  • Containers more than half-full should be disposed of.
  • Store sharps in closed container with the cap screwed on.

To dispose of biomedical waste

(EX: bloody bandages, disposable sheets and pads, gloves, and dialysis machine filters)
Double-bag the contaminated item in standard plastic garbage bags and securely fasten them. This material may then be combined with other household garbage for disposal.

To dispose of illegal street drugs

If you find illegal drugs, call (828) 321-9814. An officer will pick them up.

Thank you for helping keep the Town of Andrews safe!