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Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Medical Disposal Policy
Medical Disposal Policy

BE SMART WITH SHARPS

Sharps waste is a form of biomedical waste that includes any device or object used to puncture or lacerate the skin (hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications).

  • Properly dispose of sharps by using only State-approved sharps containers which you can obtain for free at designated distribution sites.
  • When your sharps container is about 3/4 full, seal it securely.
  • Bring your filled sharps containers to a designated collection site.

DO NOT...

  • Flush your sharps waste or medications down the toilet or drain, place them in the trash or recycling bins, or put them into milk jugs, bleach bottles, or soda bottles.

For more information on the safe and proper disposal of Sharps waste, please contact the prescribing physician, the providing pharmacy, or visit the LA County Public Works guide to disposing of Sharps waste here.

MEDICATION DISPOSAL

Meds Disposal

Responsible medication disposal is crucial for human and environmental health. Any substance flushed down the toilet or down the drain enters our water supply and has a profoundly negative impact on the environment. Medications not properly disposed of can also get into the wrong hands and lead to accidental ingestion, misuse, or overdose.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CLEANED OUT YOUR MEDICINE CABINET?

  • Schedule a medicine cabinet cleanout every six months.
  • Check the FDA Website to see if any medications in your possession are on the recall list.
  • Check the expiration dates on all your medications and discard those that are more than a year past their expiration date.

NO DRUGS DOWN THE DRAIN

  • DO NOT throw out your medication in the trash or flush them down the toilet.
  • Dispose your medication in drug drop-off boxes. The LA County Sheriff's Department provides the opportunity for residents to safely and anonymously dispose of any unused or expired prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, sharps, or other controlled substances at locations throughout the County. The closest LA County Sheriff's dropoff location is at the West Hollywood station on 780 N. San Vicente Blvd.

Drug Drop Off

  • You may also bring your medication to a pharmacy. Most pharmacies will accept and safely dispose of over-the-counter and prescription medications.
  • Remove all identifying information on bottle labels to protect your privacy.

For more information on the disposal of household hazardous waste, please visit the LA County Public Works guide to Household Hazardous Waste.