By properly and safely disposing of medications, you help reduce environmental pollution. Medications that are improperly thrown away can seep into our groundwater, taint our drinking water supply and pollute local waterways. They also add unnecessarily to landfill volume. But there are other vitally important reasons to dispose of medication properly, including:
- Preventing prescription drug abuse, accidental overdoses, and accidental poisoning of children and pets,
- Reducing crime by keeping prescription medications from ending up on our streets,
- Preventing injury to anyone who handles your trash.
In the City of Fort Lauderdale, medications should NEVER be flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink—even if the instructions on the label say to do so—unless specifically recommended by the FDA and only when you are unable to utilize one of our convenient drop options listed here. While many medication labels do include instructions for safe disposal via flushing, in the City of Fort Lauderdale, we strongly recommend that you leave the disposal to us. While the FDA makes recommendations that certain medications be flushed in order to present the least risk to safety, you can be sure that when you drop your medications with the City, they will be disposed of according to all State and Federal guidelines.
In addition, please do not throw sharps and medication in the trash. Some medication delivery systems, such as medicated patches and used needles, are potent long after use and can present an immediate hazard to anyone who touches your trash. Narcotics need to be kept out of the hands of criminals, and all medications need to be kept away from children, pets and wildlife.
To dispose of medications, the City of Fort Lauderdale offers convenient and safe options. Please explore these pages for detailed information, and contact our 24-hour Customer Service if you have questions.