Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare supports disposing of unused medicines in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. We can’t take back leftover drugs, but we offer information about how to dispose of leftover medicines as safely as possible.

Drug Collections/Clean Sweep Programs

Contact your local law enforcement office to find out when the next local drug drop-off day will be offered in your area. Many agencies and counties offer several drug drop-off days per year.

If you live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, visit www.rethinkrecycling.com. The website, administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, explains how to appropriately dispose of unused medicines and other hazardous materials. The website lists locations of drug drop-off locations in the metropolitan area.

No Drug Drop-Offs in Your Area?

We strongly encourage you to use drug drop-off programs. However, if none are available or accessible to you, the FDA recommends the following steps to safely dispose of unused medicines:

  1. Mix medicines (but do NOT crush tablets or capsules) with an unpalatable substance, such as kitty litter or used coffee grounds.
  2. Place the mixture in a container, such as a sealed plastic bag.
  3. Throw the container in your household trash.
    1. Before throwing out your empty pill bottle or other empty medicine packaging, scratch out all information on the prescription label to make it unreadable.
  4. If you have unused patches or liquids of controlled substances that you can’t bring to a drug drop-off site or event, flush them down the toilet as soon as possible.
    1. For a list of medicines recommended for disposal by flushing, visit: www.gillettechildrens.org/FDAMedicineDisposalFlushing

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.