Proper Disposal of Prescription Medications







Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Do you have unused or expired prescription drugs or medications? Safely dispose of them at Police Headquarters (871 Rockdale Avenue), Station #1 (572 Pleasant Street), Station #2 (168 Cove Street), Station #3 (781 Ashley Blvd) or several local pharmacies.

Accepted Items:

  • Prescription Patches
  • Prescription Medications
  • Prescription Ointments
  • Over-the-counter Medications
  • Vitamins
  • Samples
  • Veterinary Medications

Not-Accepted Items:

  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Inhalers
  • Thermometers
  • Needles click here for proper disposal
  • Medications from businesses or clinics
  • Ointments, lotions, or liquids
  • Aerosol Cans

When a take-back option is not available, take medications out of their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter, and throw away in the trash. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash. Put them in a sealable bag, empty can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.




Biohazard_Sharps_ContainerAs of July 1, 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health mandated that sharps may not be disposed of in the regular trash for safety reasons. Sharps include needles, syringes & lancets. Sharps must now be placed in red biohazard containers (no laundry jugs, coffee cans, water bottles, etc.)

Where to Pick up a Red Biohazard Container
New Bedford residents may pick up one quart-sized red biohazard container at the Health Department, 1213 Purchase Street, 1st floor.  The hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.


What to Do with a Full Red Biohazard Container
There are three permanent sites in New Bedford where sharps can be dropped off anytime during regular business hours. Sharps must be in red biohazard containers; no other types of containers are accepted. Please call each location for additional information. The permanent sites are the following:


Greater New Bedford Community Health Center
(Enter parking lot off Acushnet Ave into Dr. Laurel Miller Center)
874 Purchase Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
(508) 992-6553


Seven Hills Behavioral Health
1173 Acushnet Avenue
New Bedford, MA 02746
(508) 996-0546
Seven Hills Behavioral Health
589 South First Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
(508) 996-3147
 Contact Information
New Bedford Refuse District Recycling Office
(508) 979-1493
questions about curbside recycling, drop-off recycling and recycling events