Safe Disposal of Medications and Sharps

Last updated: February 2, 2023

disposal boxMany individuals need to dispose of medications and sharps. This includes expired, or unused medications prescribed by their physician or purchased over-the-counter and sharps (e.g., syringes, razor blades, lancets) that are used at home.

Some pharmacies have policies to accept expired or unused medications. Anne Arundel County and Maryland Police Departments have drop boxes for the safe disposal. These boxes are not intended for business use.

By providing this safe disposal option, the county helps to reduce the risk of medical waste contamination and promotes a cleaner, safer community environment.

If you’ve encountered a controlled dangerous substance other than prescription medications, contact the police.

Drop-off Locations

Prescription Medication Disposal Program
24 Hours Daily, 7 Days a Week

Drop off your expired, unwanted and unused medication safely in Police Department deposit boxes at these locations:

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Before Coming to a Drop-off Kiosk

For Medications:
Remove personal information from original container. No questions asked.


NOT Accepted

  • prescriptions
  • prescription patches
  • prescription medications
  • prescription ointments
  • over-the-counter medications
  • vitamins
  • samples
  • pet medication
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • inhalers
  • aerosol cans
  • lotions, liquids or over-the-counter ointments
  • medication from businesses or clinics
  • needles (sharps)
  • thermometers

For Sharps:

  • put in a leakproof, puncture-resistant heavy-duty plastic container (e.g., rigid laundry detergent bottle)
  • close container with tight-fitting puncture-resistant lid
  • label the container “Sharps”

How do I dispose of medications myself?

If you are unable to dispose of the medications at one of the police stations or your pharmacist, follow these recommendations for safely disposing of the medicine:

  • Liquids: Pour liquid medication into a plastic bag or container that can be sealed.
  • Solids: Put pills, capsules and other solid medication in a plastic bag or container. Water can be added to dissolve them.
  • Add in used coffee grounds, kitty litter or other material that makes the medication less appealing to children and pets.
  • Tightly seal and dispose of it in the trash for collection by the Department of Public Works. County landfills are lined to prevent environmental contamination.
  • Never dispose of unused or expired medications through your sewer or septic system.
  • Make sure the children and teens in your home do not have access to your medicine.

How do I dispose of sharps myself?

If you cannot get to one of these disposal sites, the Department of Health recommends placing sharps into a widemouthed metal or heavy plastic container with a secure lid such as a coffee can. Bleach should be poured into the container, which can then be sealed with a lid and discarded with household trash.

Questions or Concerns?

For medication disposal: 410-222-7192

For sharps and preparing items for disposal: 410-222-7095

For trash collection or landfills (Department of Public Works): 410-222-6100

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