There are a number of local, no-cost opportunities for residents to safely dispose of their unwanted and expired medications.
The Cook County Sheriff Department’s Prescription Drug Take Back offers its residents year-round drop-offs at secure Collection Boxes at:
- Local police departments/public safety buildings
- District court houses
- The County Building
- Metropolitan Water Reclamation District’s locations
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) partners with local Police Departments to host a fall and spring Drug Take-Back Day.
SWANCC sponsors a program for non-controlled pill medications. Residents should visit their respective community’s website or call their municipal recycling coordinator for details.
SWANCC sponsors a Sharps Collection Program for member-community residents that administer home injections and provides industry regulation containers to store needles at home. The Agency contracts with a permitted company to pick up the needles from participating communities for safe disposal. Residents should visit their respective community’s website or call their municipal recycling coordinator for details.
If you do not live in a SWANCC member community, the U.S EPA recommends that home sharps users store their needles in a thick-plastic, puncture-proof container with a tight-fitting lid, such as a detergent bottle. Residents are asked to write on the bottle with a permanent marker, “Sharps” – “Do Not Recycle!” After filling the bottle with used needles, heavy duty tape should secure the lid and the bottle thrown in the garbage.
NEVER put sharps into the recycling cart. Home sharps users need to be mindful to keep the storage container out of the reach of children and pets.