Home Medical Waste

Helpful Reminders & Laws

  • Do not flush or put prescription medicine down the drain.
  • By law, once a prescription has been issued, the pharmacy cannot take it back.
  • Unused pharmaceuticals found in the trash may be stolen for unregulated use.
  • Antibiotics kill beneficial microbes in septic and wastewater treatment systems. Other medications, even at very low concentrations, may have serious detrimental effects on fish, other aquatic life, and drinking water.
  • For pills: crush and pour powder in trash.
  • For liquids: pour into a container of inedible material like cat litter, coffee grounds or dirt.
  • Hide containers in the trash. Do not recycle container.
  • The Police Department has a kiosk for unwanted medications, open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, no question asked.
  • The Drug enforcement Agency coordinates semi-annual National Drug Take Back Days, view the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day page.

Medical Sharps Reminders

  • Do not put medical sharps in trash or recycling.
  • Needles and lancets may infect people or animals who come in contact with trash or recycling. It is illegal to dispose with trash and to mix with recycling.
  • Keep needles, syringes, and lancelets in secure plastic containers out of the reach of children. Syringes and Needles are accepted at the Braintree Health Department at Town Hall. All items must be in a red sharps container.
  • Secure sharps collection containers are sold at CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid for about $5.
  • Syringe and Needles are accepted at Braintree Health Department at Town Hall. Items must be in a red sharps container.

Check with the Health Department for further information, 781-794-8090.

For more information, call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Division of Community Sanitation at 617-727-2660.