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Medical Education & Disposal (MED) Project

Don’t Rush to Flush

Medicines help treat diseases, manage chronic conditions, and improve health and well-being for millions of Americans. It’s vitally important that patients take their medicines as prescribed by their health care provider. However, if you have expired or unwanted medication, proper disposal is important and easy. There are a number of ways to dispose of expired or unwanted medicines. To protect your privacy, consumers are reminded to remove all personally identifiable information on labels or materials before using any of the available disposal options.

San Mateo County now has over 50 medicine disposal locations available for residents to dispose of medicine safely. By taking your unwanted or expired medicine to one of the convenient kiosks listed, you are protecting the environment, preventing overdoses and errors, and helping keep drugs away from kids and teens.

ACCEPTED: Medications in any dosage form, except for those listed below, in their original container or sealed bag.*
*If transferring medications to a sealed bag, please be sure to recycle all remaining packaging.

NOT ACCEPTED: Herbal remedies, vitamins, supplements, cosmetics, other personal care products, compressed cylinders, aerosols, inhalers, medical devices, sharps, illicit drugs, iodine-containing medications.

The MED Project site has additional resources and resources in other languages available such as pamphlets, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) or Mail-Back Inserts. These resources are currently available in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Tagalog and can be found here.


Community take-back locations allow residents to bring expired or unwanted medicines to a convenient, centralized location for proper disposal. To find out where your nearest safe disposal site is, please visit the San Mateo County Health website here.


Mail-Back Services are available to differently-abled or home bound residents upon request. Please complete the form on the project site to request a pre-paid, pre-addressed Mail-Back Package. Each Unwanted Medicine Mail-Back Envelope is 8 by 11 inches in size and will hold up to 8 ounces of unwanted medicine. This form may be submitted more than once if multiple packages are needed.

To find out what medications are accepted and to fill out the form, please visit the project site.