San Francisco Department of the Environment

Safe Medicine Disposal for Residents

Unused medicine is a threat to both public health and the environment. Since 2003, more drug overdoses occur annually from prescription medicines than cocaine and heroin combined. Accidental poisonings from medicines in the home are also a concern for young children, seniors, and pets. 

Disposal Options

  • Pick Up a Mail-Back Envelope - Visit a participating mail-back distribution location to pick up a free, prepaid envelope to mail in your medicine for proper disposal.
  • Request a Mail-Back Envelope - Residents unable to travel to a drop-off or mail-back envelope distribution location may request a free, prepaid envelope be sent to their home online or by calling 1.844.633.7765.


  • Don’t flush medicine down the toilet or sink.
  • Don’t put medicine in the trash.
  • Don't keep unused medicines lying around.


When you visit one of the drop-off location, simply deposit your medicine in the kiosk.

  • Pills - Consolidate pills in a ziplock bag or in as few containers as possible. Remove any personal information and recycle empty pill bottles in your blue cart.
  • Liquid or Cream Medicines - Tighten the lids of liquid or cream medicines or place the entire bottle in a ziplock bag.

Drop-off locations DO NOT accept:

  • Empty or used needles and syringes - Take to any San Francisco Walgreens Pharmacy and ask to use the Free Sharps Disposal Program. Find other locations for disposal of used or unwanted needles and syringes on RecycleWhere. More information: Free Sharps Disposal Program.
  • Thermometers - Take thermometers to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility or request a Home Pickup.
  • Personal Care Items - Toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen, peroxide, or other non-medicated personal care products (Use up, donate or place in black cart).
  • Aerosol cans - Take to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility or request a Home Pickup. Aerosol cans which are empty of all product and propellant can be recycled in your blue cart. Please remove the cap and aerosol tip.

For More Information

For general questions about the Safe Medicine Disposal program call San Francisco Department of the Environment at 415.355.3700.

Clinics, Hospitals, Doctor’s Offices

For information about disposal of medicines from a business (clinic, hospital, doctor's office), go to the Department of Public Health website or call 415.252.3800.

Looking for Information on San Francisco’s Safe Drug Disposal Stewardship Ordinance?

Information for Wholesalers, Producers, Retailers, and Repackagers (Safe Drug Disposal Stewardship Ordinance) 
Information and Resources on Safe Medicine Disposal Policy