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Should my medications be in their original packaging when placed inside the kiosk?

They don’t need to be. Medications can be placed inside a Ziploc or kept in their original container.  Please remove all personal and identifying information from your medication labels and/or its packaging before disposal.

Why shouldn’t I just throw my medicines in the garbage or flush them down the toilet?

Flushing waste medicines pollutes the environment.  Medicines are now found in our surface and ground water, as well as drinking water supplies.  Wastewater treatment facilities do not remove most medicines. Throwing medicines in the garbage – especially controlled substances like OxyContin and other pain relievers – is not safe because the drugs can be found and used by others. Medicines thrown in the trash can also get into the environment.

How are the collected medications destroyed?

The collected medicines are disposed by high-temperature incineration at a secure permitted facility. This is the most environmentally sound disposal method which ensures the chemicals are completely destroyed.

Are there medications not accepted by the MedReturn program?

No herbal remedies, vitamins, supplements, cosmetics or other personal care products, pet pesticide products, medical devices, batteries, mercury-containing thermometers or illicit drugs will be accepted. Pre-filled injectors will not be accepted in the kiosks but may be disposed of with a mail-back envelope. Envelopes can be ordered at

How should I dispose of medications not accepted by the MedReturn program?

Herbal remedies, vitamins, supplements, cosmetics or other personal care products, pet pesticide products, batteries, and mercury-containing thermometers may be disposed at the Whatcom County Disposal of Toxics Program.

Do I need to talk to the pharmacist before placing my medications in the kiosk?

No. You can use the drop box at any time without talking with anyone.

What do I do if there isn’t a kiosk located near me?

You can pick up a mailing envelope to mail your medications to be disposed. Go to for a list of locations that provide mailing envelopes or to order an envelope to be sent directly to your location.

Should I use in-home drug disposal products?

No. In-home drug disposal products have not been proven to render medications safe for the environment, and should not be used.