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Medication Disposal

When over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs are no longer needed, it is important to dispose of them properly to avoid harm to people and the environment.

Cambridge residents have several options for disposing of unwanted or unused medicines in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner. Residents can:  

  • Deposit unused medications (no liquids) 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the permanent drop box at the Cambridge Police Department, 125 Sixth St. The drop box is located in the first floor lobby, near the Records Unit. For a list of accepted items and other information, visit the police department’s medication drop box web page.
  • Request a free, postage-paid mailer from the Cambridge Prevention Coalition (617-665-3872 or email Tali Schiller), which is based at the Cambridge Public Health Department. Empty mailer envelopes can be picked up at either location or sent to you upon request.  Your pre-paid, filled mailer will be received by a company that properly disposes of the unused medications in accordance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Controlled medications (such as Percocet, Oxycontin, Valium, and Xanax) are not accepted in the envelopes; please take them to the medication drop box.
  • Cambridge police officers will accept unused medications at the Department of Public Works’ three scheduled Household Hazardous Waste Collection events. Unused medications are not collected with other household hazardous waste. Ask for the medication drop-off area when you get to the HHW disposal event. For more information, visit the DPW Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day web page.
  • To dispose of medication in syringes, please use the sharps collection box at the Cambridge Public Health Department located in the lower lobby area at 119 Windsor St.

The city’s medication disposal initiative is a partnership of the Cambridge Police Department, the Cambridge Prevention Coalition, and the Cambridge Public Health Department.

Revised on April 9, 2015


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Cambridge Health Alliance | City of Cambridge
Cambridge Public Health Department
119 Windsor Street, Ground Level, Cambridge, MA 02139
Tel: 617.665.3800   Fax: 617.665.3888