News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Medication Disposal Bin Now Located in Police Station Lobby
Contact : Sean Downey, Officer, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – The lobby of the Palo Alto Police Department is now equipped with a new medication disposal bin, where residents can safely dispose of any unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication of all types.

The lobby is open during normal business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  No paperwork or identification is required, and there is no fee for disposal.

The bin in our lobby is equipped to receive any types of medications, including prescription medications that are considered to be "controlled substances" like pain medicine.  For loose pills, residents are asked to consolidate them into a plastic baggie (the empty plastic drug bottles can be safely deposited into curbside recycling containers); liquid medication and ointments can deposited directly into the bin.  Pills that are already in blister packaging do not need to be removed from that packaging, and can be deposited directly into the bin.  Sharps or needles are not accepted at this location.

Other publicly-available medication disposal bins located in Palo Alto include:

• Regional Water Quality Control Plant, 2501 Embarcadero Road (includes accommodations for safely disposing of sharps and needles)
• Walgreens (at the pharmacy counter), 300 University Avenue
• Palo Alto Medical Foundation (at the pharmacy counter), 795 El Camino Real

The bin was installed earlier this autumn as part of a joint regional effort with the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the California Product Stewardship Council, the City of San Jose, and the County of Santa Clara, and the City of Palo Alto as part of the “Don't Rush to Flush” campaign that launched in 2013.  The campaign was developed to encourage residents to stop flushing unwanted medications down the drain, and is designed to protect water quality and public health.  For more information about the campaign, visit

If you have any questions about what the medication disposal bin will accept, contact Maree Doden at the City’s Regional Water Quality Control Plant at 650-329-2122.