Close Panel

Medical WasteCity Trash & Recycling

Residential Medication Disposal

Please don’t flush medicines down the toilet! Wastewater treatment facilities were not designed to remove many of the chemicals that make up pharmaceutical products. A 2002 USGS study showed that 80% of the 139 streams sampled nationwide contained small amounts of pharmaceuticals. If released into water bodies, these pharmaceutical byproducts can adversely impact wildlife and the environment. 

In Santa Barbara County, "MED-Project" 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.

ACCEPTED: Medications in any dosage form except for those listed below, in their original container or sealed bag. *NEW* - MED-Project will now start accepting inhalers dropped off in their bins.

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

Medication Drop-Off Locations:

Residential Needles & Sharps Disposal

It is illegal to place sharps or sharps containers in trash or recycling containers.

Mail In Sharps Disposal

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.

Sharps Drop-off Locations

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.

Business Name Hours Phone Address
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

Business Medication & Sharps Disposal

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.

Thermometers & Blood Pressure Cuffs

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.

Last Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Top of Page