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Solid Waste Services

Disposal of Medicine and Medical Waste

Medicines

Storing unwanted and expired medications in the home presents a risk for drug abuse or overdose for children and pets. Improper drug disposal can contaminate soil and water. The City of Fort Worth suggests several options for the disposal of expired, unused and unwanted over-the-counter and prescription (controlled and non-controlled) drugs.

  • Permanent Take Back Meds Drop Boxes: Located at three City of Fort Worth police stations (see sidebar for locations and hours).
  • Take Back Meds Collection Events: Held twice a year at locations around the city and the country. Visit the DEA site for more information on the program.
  • Pharmacy Drug Take Back Programs: Certain pharmacies offer a mail-in system through which residents can safely dispose of unwanted medications. Find a participating community pharmacy near you.
  • Trash: Only if you are unable to participate in any of the above mentioned programs, follow these steps to dispose of medication in the household trash.
    • Mix medicines (do not crush tablets or open capsules) with an unpalatable substance such as coffee grounds, cat litter or cottage cheese. Place the mixture in a sealed container or plastic bag. Throw the container in the appropriate trash bin.
  • Flushing is not recommended as a disposal method. However, follow disposal instructions on the drug’s label or the patient information that accompanies the medication. You should flush medications ONLY if the label instructs you to do so.
  • If there are no disposal instructions for your medication, the recommendation is to find a local take back program. For more information on any of these disposal options, call 817-392-1234.

Medical Waste

Sharps (needles, syringes, lancets)
Before throwing away sharps in a trash receptacle, place them in a sharps disposal container or hard plastic/metal with a tightly-secured lid (detergent bottles with screw-on lids or a coffee can). When possible, break off syringe needles to prevent reuse.

General Medical Waste
Place IV bags, plastic tubing and similar medical equipment in plastic garbage bags and throw them away in trash receptacle. These items are not recyclable, whether they have been used or not.

Customer Service

Report an issue online 

Report an issue by phone:
817-392-1234

The call center is open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.



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