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Pharmaceuticals

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To prevent environmental contamination, prescription and over-the-counter medication should never be flushed down a toilet or thrown in the trash. 

Safe & Simple Pharmaceutical Drop-Off (PDF)

If you have unwanted, unused and/or expired over-the-counter drugs, prescription medicines, pet medications and medicated ointments you can bring them to the locations listed below.

How to prepare medications for disposal:

1. Check if Acceptable

 Accepted:

• Schedule II - V Non-Controlled medications
• Over-the-counter medications (pills and liquids)
• Medications ointments/ lotions
• Pet medications
• Controlled Substances* (i.e. codeine, morphine, oxycodone, Norco, etc.) are ONLY accepted at the Davis Police Department

Not Accepted:

• Illegal (Schedule I) Substances
• Medical sharps and needles
• Iodine-containing medications
• Mercury thermometers
• Radiopharmaceuticals
• Chemotherapy or cytotoxic medicines
• Compressed cylinders or Aerosols (e.g. asthma inhalers)—bring to the Yolo hazardous waste drop-off
• Vitamins & dietary supplements (place in the trash)
• Business medical waste
• Bloody or infectious waste
• Personal care products

2. Prepare for Drop-Off

  • Protect your privacy - Scratch, remove or blackout your information on the prescription label.
  • Place the pills in a clear zipper bag - If no clear zipper bag is available, dump the pills into the kiosk directly. Recycle the medicine container.
  • Liquids and creams - These must remain in their original container be sealed tightly.

3. Place in Kiosk

Drop off your medications in the bins at these locations:

  • City of Davis Police Department 2600 5th St. (530) 747-5400
    • Open Monday - Thursday & every other Friday 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
    • This location accepts controlled substances.
  • Davis Compounding Solutions, 1205 Drake Drive, Suite C (530) 756-1255
    • Medications are accepted every day during normal business hours. Not Accepted: Controlled substances, personal care products, sharps, bloody or infectious waste, thermometers, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, business waste, & radiopharmaceuticals.
  • Yolo County Central Landfill, CR 28H & 104 (530) 666-8729
    • During the weekly household hazardous drop-off events, non-controlled medications are accepted for free drop-off from Yolo County residents. Controlled substances not accepted.

*Only facilities or events with a law enforcement officer present ( CFR 1301.24 and CFR 1307.21) may accept controlled substances (PDF, 310KB), which include commonly abused drugs such as narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, or anabolic steroids; examples include codeine, opiates, or tranquilizers. Chemotherapy pharmaceuticals should be returned to the clinic that dispensed them. Controlled substances may ONLY be brought to the Davis Police Station. 

Medications should never be flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink. More information on not flushing unused medications.

For more information about pharmaceutical waste, see the California Integrated Waste Managements website.