Attention! The Utica Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection facility is now CLOSED. We will reopen in April 2023.

Disposal of Pharmaceuticals

Proper Disposal of expired and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter medications & Pharmaceuticals

Watch the Pharmaceuticals Video

Improperly disposed pharmaceuticals and medications have been entering our water supplies from a variety of sources, including the flushing of unused medications into sewer systems. Nationwide studies have found low levels of medications such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80% of the rivers and streams tested. Pharmaceuticals that are improperly disposed include chemicals such as over the counter medicines, cosmetics and other personal care products, as well as antibiotics and growth hormones used with livestock.

Do not dispose of your unwanted drugs by flushing them down the drain or toilet.

Pharmaceuticals may be delivered to the following permanent drug drop-off boxes for disposal:

  • Boonville Police Department
  • Camden Police Department
  • Dolgeville Police Department
  • Herkimer Police Department
  • Ilion Police Department
  • Oneida County Sheriff's Department
  • Oriskany Police Department
  • Rome Police Department
  • Sherrill Police Department
  • Trenton Municipal Building
  • Utica Police Department
  • Waterville Municipal Building

Pharmaceuticals are also accepted at the following Mohawk Valley Health System campuses:

  • Faxton Urgent Care
  • St. Elizabeth's Emergency Department
  • St. Luke's Emergency Department

Pharmacies accepting unwanted drugs:

  • U&I Pharmacy
    5236 West Seneca Street, Vernon
  • Garro Drugs 
    704 Bleecker Street, Utica

In addition, all Kinney Pharmacies will be collecting non-controlled prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications on the last Saturday of every month. Do not bring illegal drugs, controlled prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Hydrocodone, biohazards, needles or sharps, personal care products or household hazardous waste.

If you are unable to dispose of unwanted or expired drugs at a drop-off location, you should dispose of the drugs by placing them in your household trash by doing the following:

  • To avoid accidental or intentional misuse of drugs, treat medication (liquids and pills) by adding water, salt, ashes, dirt, cat litter, coffee grounds, or another undesirable substance.
  • Place unwanted pharmaceuticals in a sealed bag or box and seal the container with strong tape.
  • Dispose of drugs in your trash as close to your trash collection day as possible.
  • Do not conceal discarded drugs in food to prevent consumption by pets or wildlife.
  • Place household sharps like needles and lancets in a puncture proof container such as a coffee can or laundry detergent bottle. The container should be sealed with tape and labeled as "sharps" and placed in the trash for disposal and not recycling,
  • Medications with needles attached may also be disposed of at household sharps community collection programs at hospitals and nursing homes in Oneida and Herkimer Counties.

For more information, contact the Authority office at (315) 733-1224.