Safe Disposal

Disposal Options

Unused and expired medications should be properly disposed as soon as possible.

Learn about the options available to safely dispose of medications:

Find Permanent Collection Boxes

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is establishing  permanent household medication collection box locations around the state. Find one near you. Note the hours of operation and what items can or cannot be accepted.

Find Local Take-Back Events

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s next National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, April 29, 2017 from 10 am to 2 pm. Beginning April 1, a frequently updated collection site locator will be found here.

Home Disposal

When you can’t access one of the take-back locations, do not flush your medicine and do not give it to friends or family to dispose for you. Follow the steps below to put it in the trash:

  1. Remove from the original container (make sure you remove the label or cross out any identifying information).
  2. Mix with something that can’t be eaten, like kitty litter, coffee grounds, saw dust, home cleanser, etc.
  3. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can, or other durable container that prevents leakage.
  4. Wrap the container in newspaper or a plain brown bag to conceal its contents. Place it in your trash the day your trash is collected.

Mail-back envelopes can be purchased at some pharmacies. Ask your pharmacist for additional information.

Unused Medicine by the Numbers:

Disposal Options


  1. “Environmental Impact,”, accessed 11/17/14.