Please don’t flush medicines down the toilet any more! A recent study shows that 80% of US streams contain small amounts of pharmaceuticals. Sewage systems cannot remove these substances from water that is then released into lakes, rivers, or oceans, affecting fish and other aquatic animals. Very small amounts of medicine have even been found in drinking water.
In Santa Barbara County, "Operation Medicine Cabinet" provides safe disposal of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter household medications. You can place medicines in a baggie and recycle the containers, or keep medications in their original containers but remove or scratch out all personal information.
The drop boxes listed below do accept Controlled Substances.(Drop-off boxes are similar to post office public mailboxes that do not allow removal except by authorized personnel.)
|SB Police Department Lobby||805-897-2300|
|Santa Barbara Sheriff's Station||805-681-4100||4434 Calle Real
Santa Barbara, CA
It is illegal to place sharps or sharps containers in trash or recycling containers.
Under the new trash contract, Santa Barbara residents are entitled to receive free mail-in medical sharps containers.
For more details or to request a container be brought to your home, please contact MarBorg at (805) 963-1852.
The following sites are free for residential dropoff unless otherwise indicated. Sharps must be placed in approved collection containers. Cans and plastic milk jugs are NOT appropriate containers and will not be accepted. Many drop-off locations have proper containers available.
|Santa Barbara County Clinical Laboratory||Mon - Fri, 8:00 - 12:00, 1:00 - 5:00||(805) 681-5380||315 Camino Del Remedio, Room 117
Santa Barbara, CA
|Santa Barbara County Health Clinic-Franklin Center||Mon - Fri, 7:30 - 12:00, 12:30 - 5:00||(805) 568-2099||1136 East Montecito Street
Santa Barbara, CA (downtown)
Hospitals, clinics, medical practices, acupuncturists, pathology labs, convalescent homes, group homes, nursing facilities, hospices, and veterinary hospitals must use commercial disposal companies. Search on the internet for "sharps disposal" or "medication disposal" for options.
Older thermometers and blood pressure cuffs contain mercury, which is a heavy metal and hazardous to your health. Newer, digital thermometers do not contain mercury, but must be recycled with the electronics. Bring all mercury devices to the Community Household Hazardous Waste Site at UCSB (link to Hazardous Waste section on the Special Waste page).
If you have broken a thermometer and mercury pours out, you must recover all of the droplets and place in an airtight container without touching it. If vacuumed, placed in the trash, or left uncollected, the mercury will evaporate and you will breathe it in.