Pharmaceutical Waste

What to do with leftover medication

Many Ohio residents have expired or unused pharmaceutical products in their medicine cabinet and don’t know what to do with them. Unused drugs can create a risk of unintentional overdose or illegal abuse if not properly disposed. However, flushing medication in the toilet can contribute to water contamination and may cause harm to aquatic life. To safely dispose of leftover pharmaceuticals from the home, the best option is to take them to a collection event or permanent pharmaceutical drop-off.

  • The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
  • Find a Permanent Pharmaceutical drop-off location at a local law enforcement office near you. Use our recycling and litter prevention map to quickly find information for your county.
  • Rx Drug Drop Box maintains a website to help you locate a law enforcement drop-off location in Ohio.
  • The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) changed their rules regarding the disposal of pharmaceutical controlled substances.  Members of the public may call the DEA’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 to find a collection receptacle location near them.
  • If none of these options work, contact your local solid waste management district to see if they are sponsoring a local collection event or know of other available options.

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Physical address:
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Columbus, Ohio 43215

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P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049 

Rule and Program Development Section
Sarvis, Harry
Environmental Manager
(614) 644-3519  
Schierberl, John  
Supervisor, Regulatory Program Development
(614) 644-2955