Disposal of Pharmaceuticals

Information about the proper disposal of household pharmaceutical waste.

Household Pharmaceutical Disposal ProgramPills

Medications may be properly disposed by taking them to the Metropolitan Forensic Science Center located at 5350 2nd ST NW (south of Montano Road on 2nd Street behind the Gerald Cline Memorial Police Substation).

Phone: (505) 823-4200

Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Other Disposal Locations

Medications may also be disposed at any of the six area command substations, to include the James Dwyer Mini-Substation and the Old Town Mini-Substation, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The address and phone number of these facilities follow.

  • Foothills Area Command, 12800 Lomas NE, (505) 332-5240
  • Northeast Area Command, 8201 Osuna Rd NE, (505) 823-4455
  • Southeast Area Command, 800 Louisiana SE, (505) 256-2050
  • Valley Area Command, 5408 2nd St. NW, (505) 761-8800
  • Southwest Area Command, 6404 Los Volcanes Rd NW, (505) 831-4705
  • Northwest Area Command, 10401 Cibola Loop, NW, (505) 768-4850
  • James Dwyer Memorial Substation, 12700 Montgomery NE, (505) 332-5254
  • Old Town Community Substation, 2060 Central Avenue SW, (505) 244-6643

A Few Things You Should Know

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 will be 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.
  • Call the Metropolitan Forensic Science Center to ensure staff availability at (505) 823-4200.
  • Take to the Metropolitan Forensic Science Center or one of the other disposal sites on Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

  • Put your homemade sharps container in a box.
  • Clearly label the box as “Danger Sharps Inside.”
  • Put with regular household trash.

Other Options

Mail-back Services

Safe Community Needle Disposal