Don’t Flush Medications Down Drains

Never flush medications down sinks or toilets. Medications include prescription drugs such as hormones, antidepressants, and antibiotics; over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, cold/flu remedies, and antiseptics; and veterinary medicines. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to filter or neutralize drug contents that end up in the sewer system. As a result, drugs can pass through wastewater treatment systems and contaminate receiving waters. A federal government study found that 80 percent of streams sampled contained drugs, including steroids and reproductive hormones, with interfere with growth and reproduction in aquatic wildlife such as fish and frogs. The levels of risk to human health and the environment are being studied, but drug contents have the potential to harm both.

Don’t Trash or Dump Disposable Sharps

Never place disposable sharps in a recycling or garbage container. Disposable sharps include hypodermic syringes, lancets, and other medical devices used for self-inject or blood tests. Improper dumping and incorrect disposal of sharps put recycling and garbage and sewage workers, janitors, housekeepers and household members at risk of needle-stick injury and infection.


As part of Santa Clara County’s Product Stewardship Plan drop-off sites have been strategically placed across the County to ensure that residents have convenient access to safely dispose of unwanted household medications and sharps. Please properly dispose of unused or expired prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and sharps at any of these approved drop-off locations.

Local Drop-Off Locations:

Safe-Med-Sharps-Disposal-ThumbnailVisit for Bay Area pharmacy locations that will accept unused prescription or over-the-counter medication. The Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program offers free drop-off appointments for you to dispose of unwanted medication or sharps. To participate, make an appointment online or over the phone. Please note that the County does not accept controlled narcotics.

  • Online Appointment – Residents may schedule an appointment online by clicking on the “Make An Appointment” button at
  • Phone Appointment – Make an appointment by calling (408) 299-7300.
OrganizationAddressPhone NumberHours of Operation
Valley Health Center143 North Main St, Milpitas, CA 95035 (Main lobby near lobby restrooms)(888) 334-1000Monday – Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.