Disposal of Medications

Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD), in partnership with Washington State's Safe Medication Return Drop Off program, is supplying the community with free packaging to help residents safely mail-back unused meds (pills, unused syringes and inhalers) at no charge.  

The State of Washington contracted with the MED-Project to administer the safe collection and proper disposal of medications since 2018, when WA House Bill 1047 became law. The goal of HB 1047 is to reduce drug poisonings by creating a single, uniform, statewide system for safe and secure collection. 

Blue, orange and white graphic about WA's drug mail-back program and the new website for locating drop-off sites in our area.

Two ways to dispose of unused medications: 

  • #1: Pick up free packaging at BFHD to privately dispose of your meds at home (please do NOT bring unwanted or unused medicines to the BFHD office, we are NOT an authorized drop-off site). You mail-in envelopes will also include instructions on packaging and mailing your unused medications. 
  • #2: Visit a drop-off kiosk in your neighborhood found at pharmacies or law enforcement agencies. Using your zip code, you can find KIOSKs in your community through the Safe Medication Return Drop Off finder.

Kiosks, mailers, and take-back events cannot accept:

  • Business generated pharmaceutical waste.
  • Vitamins, minerals, and supplements.
  • Homeopathic and herbal-based remedies.
  • Cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, and sunscreen.
  • Empty injectors, empty inhalers, and medical devices that do not contain medication.
  • Livestock medication.
  • Pet pesticide products.
  • Illicit or illegal drugs (contact your local law enforcement agency for disposal assistance).


Keeping Meds Safe

It is essential for patients to take medicine as prescribed by their health care provider or as directed on the label or packaging. It is crucial to store medicines securely to prevent accidental ingestion or misuse by others, especially children. Do not place medications in the trash or recycling; never flush them down the toilet.

BFHD is not equipped to dispose of the community’s used syringes. A used syringe, or syringe and needle no longer containing medicine, is considered dangerous. It is important to follow your waste collectors’ policies regarding used syringes. BFHD’s website has additional information about used syringe disposal; visit here: Syringe Disposal - Benton Franklin Health District (wa.gov).

Additional Resources: