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FREE Year-Round Disposal of Medications and Sharps
Unwanted medications and Sharps can be disposed of year-round for free at several take-back collection sites across Clark and Skamania counties:
COVID-19 Impacts to Take-Back Sites
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many medication take back locations are temporarily closed or have other restrictions. Transfer stations are seeing large crowds, putting workers and customers at risk. If you absolutely must dispose of medication now, below is an amended list of medication take back locations in SW Washington or you may download this flyer. Calling ahead for availability is highly encouraged.
For other safe free medication drop-off locations across Washington State, visit TakeBackYourMeds.org. You can also visit Starts with One and Locks Save Lives to learn more about how to safely store medication, dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medication, and the importance of removing prescription opioid medications from homes.
Why Safely Dispose of Medication?
To Protect our Kids & the Environment
1. Stop accidental poisoning
- About half of the Washington State Poison Center calls are related to young children accidentally ingesting medications found at home1.
- Young children, pets, and seniors are at risk of accidental poisonings by unlocked medications in the home.
- In the case of an accidental ingestion, call the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. Reduce Access to prescription drugs
More than 4 in 10 teens who misused or abused a prescription drug took it from their parent’s medicine cabinet.2 Keep all medications, alcohol, and marijuana locked and out of reach of teens and young children.
3. Keep our waterways and environment healthy
- Reduce chemicals in the environment by disposing of medications at a drug take back site.
- Do not flush medications down the toilet or drain – drugs are harmful to our water and our environment.3
- Do not throw away medication in the trash – it’s easily accessible to people going through trash, or it will eventually end up in our water or environment.
1. Washington Poison Center: takebackyourmeds.org, 2017
2. Partnership for Drug Free Kids
3. Environmental Protection Agency, How to Dispose of Medicines Properly, 2011
Tips: Disposing of Prescription Medications
- Medications do not need to be in the original container unless otherwise specified
- Remove or obscure all patient information from containers
- All sites take liquids unless otherwise specified
Tips: Disposing of Sharps/Syringes and Over-the-Counter Medications
- Use an approved sharps container when transporting sharps
- If an approved sharps container is not available, use a rigid plastic container with a lid (ex: plastic milk jug) and label the container: WARNING SHARPS — DO NOT RECYCLE
- The transfer stations also accept over-the-counter medications and inhalers
Sharps/syringes are only accepted at sites listed below:
- Central Transfer & Recycling
- Washougal Transfer Station
- West Van Materials Recovery
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