Pharmaceutical Waste

What to do with leftover medication

 As a precautionary response to COVID-19, Ohio EPA is currently operating with most staff working remotely. If you are working with our staff on a current project and you know the name of the employee you are working with, email them at or call them directly. The Agency website has contact information for every district, division, and office. In order to reach us, please contact Ohio EPA’s main phone line at (614) 644-3020 or the main line for the division or office you are trying to reach.

After March 23, our district offices and Central Office will be temporarily closed and will have increasingly limited ability to receive deliveries, plans, etc. All entities are encouraged to submit plans, permit applications, etc., electronically where there are existing avenues to do so, such as the eBusiness Center (eBiz). Please refer to the list of available services on the main eBiz webpage. We encourage you to make use of all that apply, even if you have not used eBiz in the past. Plans under 25 MB can be emailed. For large plans over 25 MB, entities should work with the reviewer/division to upload via LiquidFiles. Directions for submitting docs via LiquidFiles is available on YouTube. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you in advance for your understanding. If you wish to send hard copies of documents to any of Ohio EPA’s district offices, the best method to ensure we receive these documents is to send them via U.S. Mail. Since all offices are closed, deliveries outside of U.S. Mail (FedEx, UPS) will likely be returned because the offices are closed and deliveries cannot be made.

To report a spill or environmental emergency, contact the spill hotline (800) 282-9378 or (614) 224-0946

Many Ohio residents have expired or unused pharmaceutical products in their medicine cabinet and don’t know what to do with them. Unused drugs can create a risk of unintentional overdose or illegal abuse if not properly disposed. However, flushing medication in the toilet can contribute to water contamination and may cause harm to aquatic life. To safely dispose of leftover pharmaceuticals from the home, the best option is to take them to a collection event or permanent pharmaceutical drop-off.

Ohio EPA does not regulate the disposal of pharmaceutical products by consumers. The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has an excellent website with information for consumers, pharmacies and others involved in the pharmaceutical industry. Visit their site for drug disposal box locations, regulations and additional resources.  


Disposal Options

  • Drug Disposal Resources — State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy
  • National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day — The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.
  • Rx Drug Drop Box maintains a website to help you locate a law enforcement drop-off location in Ohio.
  • The Disposal Act is enforced by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). More information about the rule, including drug disposal fact sheets for registrants, general public and long-term care facilities can be found on their website. Call the DEA’s Registration Call Center at 1-800-882-9539 to find a collection receptacle location near you.
  • Contact your local solid waste management district to see if they are sponsoring a local collection event or know of other available options.

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