Earth Day and The National Take-Back Initiative: How to Dispose of Medication

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If you are like me, you have at least one unfinished prescription medication sitting at home that you may not know what to do with. Today is Earth Day and Saturday, April 27th is National Take-Back Day. In honor of both, I am going to answer a few questions about medication disposal.

Why am I not recommended to dispose of medication myself?

1. Throwing medication in the trash still leaves them for someone to find. Maybe children or someone dumpster diving. Even a small dose of a prescription not meant for a specific adult can be deadly.

2. Medications remain active even if they are crushed and can leak into the environment through the water system or dump sites. This is also why it should not be flushed or poured down the drain.

How do I dispose of unwanted or unused medications?

The FDA recommends holding on to them and disposing of them at a dedicated collection site. These are usually set up at pharmacies or police stations at specific dates and times.

How do I find a collections sites?

Go the the DEA website and find an upcoming collection near you.

What if I need to get the medication out of my home before the next collection date near me?

It is not highly recommended, but if necessary, pills can ground or crushed into a tightly sealed plastic container with coffee grounds or cat litter. It can then be placed in the garbage. This is not recommended in all cases because the containers can still break open or slightly decompose causing the contents to leak into the surrounding environment. However, it is the next safest option to a collection.

Are any medications OK to pour down the sink or toilet?

Some medication are allowed to be disposed of by sink drain or toilet. Again, check the FDA site for a list of approved medications.

There are numerous location in Chester County accepting unused medications on Saturday. Look for a site near you!


Giant Food Store

86 Glocker Way

Pottstown, Pa 19465




3425 Schuylkill Rd

Spring City, Pa 19475



Phoenixville Borough Hall

140 Church St

Phoenixville, Pa 19460



Downingtown Police Department

10 West Lancaster Ave

Downingtown, Pa 19335


East Brandywine Township Building

1212 Horseshoe Pike

Downingtown, Pa 19335


Giant Food Store

1375 East Boot Rd

West Chester, Pa 19380


Giant Food Store

698 Downingtown Pike

West Chester, Pa 19380


Kennett Square Police Department

115 N. Broad St

Kennett Square, Pa 19348


Giant Food Store

350 Scarlet Rd

Kennett Square, Pa 19348

New Garden Shopping Center


Coatesville Police Department

1 City Hall Place

Coatesville, Pa 19320


PSP-Troop J, Embreeville

997 Lieds Rd

Coatesville, Pa19320


East Fallowfield Township Building

2274 Strasburg Rd

Coatesville, Pa 19320


Tredyffrin Township Municipal Complex

1100 Du Portail Rd

Berwyn, Pa 19312


You may see me there!



Jen is a “Mom Blogger” in the sense that she writes about her life which largely revolves around being a mother. You can expect to hear about family life and raising young kids, recipes and menu planning, home organization, crafts, products that she loves and local, family friendly events and locations. You can hear more from Jen on her personal blog,


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