Salinas Valley Recycles

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Drugs
Prescription and over the counter drugs should never be flushed down the toilet or washed down the sink.  These items will contaminate our local water supplies!  There are safe ways to dispose of such items and still recycle their empty containers.  Some local agencies such as the City of Gonzales participate in DEA sanctioned Prescription Drug Take Back Collection Events (open to all Salinas Valley residents).  You can save your prescription medicines for these events which are held approximately twice per year.  These events are aimed at keeping these toxic and often narcotic items out of our water supply and out of the hands of those who are looking to abuse these medications.  These events do not accept over-the-counter medicines.  You can also check with your local pharmacy to see if they will take back your medicines and dispose of them with their collection service.  Finally, if you are unable to safely dispose of your prescription or non-prescription medications in any other safe and recommended way, you can place them in your trash container.  Here are some recommendations for securely and safely disposing of medications in your trash.

  • Contaminate any narcotic or controlled items that might be desirable to those who abuse prescription drugs
    • This involves removing pills from bottles and placing them in concealed containers (such as coffee cans) with items that will make them undesirable (coffee grounds, used kitty litter, etc.)
    • Dump cough syrups and liquid medications into the trash bags, combining them with other garbage such as paper towels (again, used kitty litter is a good absorbent)
    • Keep all medications out of reach of children and pets until they are placed into your trash cart at the curb for collection