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Prescription and Medical Sharps Waste Disposal

 

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Prescription medicines and medical sharps can provide life-saving treatment, but what do you do when you no longer need the medicine or have empty sharps after treatment? These items should not be thrown away as regular trash because they can contaminate the environment, injure citizens or workers, or even end up in the hands of the wrong people.
 
 
 

HOW CITIZENS CAN PROPERLY DISPOSE OF MEDICAL SHARPS

The Florida Department of Health in Leon County established a medical sharps disposal program in 2002. In order to participate, citizens must show proof of Leon County residency. Once approved, citizens will be given a free sharps container that must be returned once full. A new container will be given at no charge. 

You may pick up a free medical sharps container at the Florida Department of Health in Leon County’s Main Office: 1515 Old Bainbridge Road. For questions, please call 850-404-6400.

HOW CITIZENS CAN PROPERLY DISPOSE OF PRESCRIPTIONS

With the rise in prescription medicine use and the knowledge of the dangers it can cause when not used properly, it is vital to properly dispose of unused or unwanted prescriptions in a way that is safe for the environment, other citizens and their pets, and for our waste workers.

Properly dispose of unwanted medicine at one of five permanent Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) authorized collection locations in Tallahassee and Leon County:

  • Tallahassee Police Department (234 E 7 th Ave)
  • Walgreens (1202 N. Magnolia Drive)
  • Walgreens (3531 Thomasville Road)
  • Walgreens (2009 W. Tennessee Street)
  • CVS (5466 Thomasville Road N.)

These locations are authorized to collect unused prescriptions at any time. If the pharmacy closest to you is not listed above, you can ask your pharmacist about DisposeRX packets that will properly render unwanted medications unusable, allowing for safe at-home disposal.

To help further ensure education on and disposal of prescription medicines, local organizations host two annual drug take back events—Operation Medicine Cabinet in April and National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in October. 

** If none of these options are open to you, the EPA recommends placing the medication in a sealed container, mixing it with an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or cat litter, and placing the container in the trash. Learn more in this guide.**