Disposal of Pharmaceuticals

Information about the proper disposal of household pharmaceutical waste.

Household Pharmaceutical Disposal Program

Medications may be properly disposed by taking them to any of our police substations listed below.

Disposal Locations

Medications may also be disposed at any of the six area command substations Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Foothills Area Command
    12800 Lomas NE, (505) 332-5240
  • Northeast Area Command
    8201 Osuna NE, (505) 823-4455
  • Southeast Area Command
    800 Louisiana SE, (505) 256-2050
  • Valley Area Command
    5408 2nd NW, (505) 761-8800
  • Southwest Area Command
    6404 Los Volcanes NW, (505) 831-4705
  • Northwest Area Command
    10401 Cibola Loop NW, (505) 768-4850

Disposal Location Map

Pharmaceutical Program: Guidelines

The following information is for private homes that are not using a home health care agency. Home health care providers are required to dispose medical waste according to the New Mexico Administrative Code.

Only pills are accepted - Doctor prescribed and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements, and pet medications.

Proper disposal protects children and pets from accidental poisonings as well as teenagers and adults from misusing and abusing medications.

Remove all medications from their original containers including pills in foil and place them in a sealable bag.

What's Not Accepted

For more information, call the Metropolitan Forensic Science Center at (505) 823-4200.

Trash Disposal

Other prescriptions should be disposed in your regular trash following the steps below:

  • Pour medication into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc.), crush it and add water to dissolve it.
  • Add an absorbant material such as kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds to the plastic bag.
  • Seal the plastic bag and place into the trash.
  • Protect yourself by destroying all identifying information from medical containers before recycling.
  • Consult your pharmacist with any questions.

Useful Links

Proper Disposal of Household Needles, Lancets and Other Sharps

A Few Things You Should Know

  • Put all household generated sharps: needles, lancets, and single razor blades into a rigid plastic container such as an empty laundry detergent or bleach bottle.
  • Do NOT use glass or coffee cans.
  • Clearly label the container "Contains Sharps" with a waterproof marker.
  • Immediately put used syringes or lancets into the container.
  • Screw on the top after each use.
  • Don't clip, bend or recap the needles because you could injure yourself.
  • Keep the container away from children!
  • Add a few tablespoons of household bleach for added safety (optional).
  • Seal it with heavy-duty tape when the container is full.
  • Take to a drop-off collection site or see trash disposal steps below. For drop-off collection sites, please visit the New Mexico Department of Public Health's Harm Reduction webpage.

Trash Disposal