Household Hazardous Waste & Medicine Disposal


Medicines help treat diseases, manage chronic conditions, and improve health and well-being for millions of Americans. It is important that patients take their medicines as prescribed by their health care provider. However, if you have expired or unwanted medicines or sharps, proper disposal is important and easy.

Tossing sharps (injection needles) and medicine in the trash can poison or injure people and pets. When disposed of down sinks or toilets, these materials can also cause pharmaceutical pollution in the San Francisco Bay or injury at wastewater treatment plants.

There are various community kiosk drop-off sites that allow patients to properly dispose of their expired or unwanted medicines or sharps. 

Click here for a full list of drop-off locations.

Medication and Sharp Safe Disposal Options

Medicine and sharps disposal locations (RWQCP service area) PDF


Household hazardous waste (HHW) is home-generated waste that is toxic, flammable, or reactive. Common HHW includes paint and paint thinners, batteries, cooling oil, cleaners, pool chemicals, fluorescent light bulbs, mercury waste and propane tanks. Medicines (no controlled substances) and sharps in proper containers are also accepted at select HHW stations.

palo alto household hazardous waste station (HHWS)

Hours of operation: Every Saturday (9am-11am) and the first Friday of each month (3pm-5pm).

Address: 2501 Embarcadero Way (near the entrance of the Regional Water Quality Control Plant).

Palo Alto residents only.

For information about scheduling appointments (small businesses) and accepted items visit Palo Alto’s Household Hazardous Waste Station.

additional hhw disposal services:

Santa Clara County HHW Program

Santa Clara County residents only

San Mateo County HHW Program

Santa Mateo County residents only

San Francisco City and County HHW Program

San Francisco residents only

SMaRT Station

The Sunnyvale Materials Recovery and Transfer (SMaRT) Station accepts limited HHW items and sharps. Call or visit their website for details. Mountain View and Sunnyvale only.