Medicines From Individual Residents Only

What will the pharmacist accept for disposal?

Prescription medications (Non-controlled)


Cold and flu medications

Vitamins/herbal supplements

Pet medications

Medication Samples

Medicated ointments/lotions

How do I prepare the medication?

For both solids (pills) and liquids bring medications in their original container. Block out ALL identifying personal information on the prescription label. Do not remove the name of the medication .The pharmacist must be able to see the medication type so he/she can properly sort it. Bring the bottle to the participating pharmacist so he/she can properly sort and dispose of the medication.

What won't the pharmacist accept?

Controlled substances (take these to a law enforcement drop box)

Sharps - Needles, lancets, syringes, epipens (see below for other options)

IV bags

Hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, etc.

Aerosol Cans

Electronic devices – diabetes testers etc.


Empty containers

Business Waste – schools, medical offices, group homes other health care facilities

Chemotherapy medications

How To Dispose of Unacceptable Items

Controlled Substances

Examples of controlled substances are amphetamines, Valium, Ritalin, morphine, methadone and oxycodone. These drugs have a high potential for abuse. Current regulations allow only the patient or law enforcement to legally have custody of the drug. Medications that the DEA considers controlled substances, can be dropped off at a local law enforcement agency.

Controlled Substance Drop Box Locations

Law Enforcement Drop Box Locations

List of Common Controlled Substances

Intravenous Bags

Empty bags go in trash (not recyclable) If the bag contains a fluid return the bag to the home care provider, pharmacy or other medical provider. They can dispose of the waste safely and properly. It is not recommended that chemotherapy agents be disposed in the trash or poured down the drain.

Household Generated Sharps

Beginning January 4, 2016, Kent County residents may request a free container from any KCHD facility. After completing a brief registration form, KCHD will issue a sterile approved container that users may take home. Once full, the container can be returned to any KCHD facility where it will be exchanged for a new one. KCHD will not accept sharps in any container that was not issued through this program.

Chemotherapy Medications

Contact the dispensing physician and pharmacy to address proper disposal of chemotherapy medications. These medications are highly toxic and designated as dangerous waste. This classification requires the medications to be handled and incinerated in a different way which is not accessible through West Michigan Take Back Meds.

KCHD facilities will issue and accept containers during normal business hours (see below) at the following locations:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday
8:00am - 11:30am, 12:45pm - 4:45pm

1st/3rd/5th Thursdays of the Month
12:45pm - 4:45pm

2nd/4th Thursdays
10:00am - 12:30pm, 1:45pm - 6:45pm

Kent County Health Department - 700 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

Sheldon Clinic - 121 Franklin SE, Grand Rapids

South Clinic - 4700 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Kentwood

North County Clinic - 4388 14 Mile Road NE, Rockford

Household Hazardous Waste Program

Contact local Household Hazardous Waste Program for disposal of:

Hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, etc.

Aerosol Cans

Mercury containing products; thermometers, batteries

Pesticides; Lice shampoos, flea baths & powders, insecticides

Nail polish & nail polish remover, perfumes

>> Kent County Household Hazardous Waste Program

Acceptable To Trash

Personal care products – lotions, soap, shampoo, suntan lotion, deodorants, non-flammable cosmetics, and other non-medicated products you apply to your body.

>> Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment Rules for Business waste: Mixed Medical Waste Guidance