Medical Waste




  • Used prescription drugs thrown in trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold.  
  • Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse.  
  • Used prescription drugs that are flushed can contaminate the water supply.
  • The majority of teens abusing prescription drugs get them from home medicine cabinets.  

Now you can safely dispose of unwanted, unused, and/or expired medications!

There are four "Prescription Drug Drop Box" locations in Orange County for residents to drop-off medications and prescriptions.   Hours are 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday - Friday (excluding holidays) at all locations.   

Drop-off Locations

Carrboro Police Department100 N. Greensboro St., Carrboro919-918-7397Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Chapel Hill Police Department828 Martin Luther King Blvd., Chapel Hill 919-968-2760

Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
CVS Store (#3898)1718 N. Fordham Blvd, Chapel Hill919-942-5125Monday - Sunday 8:00 am - 12:00 am
Hillsborough Police Department

127 N Churton St., Hillsborough


Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Orange County Sheriffs Department

106 E Margaret Ln., Hillsborough


Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Hillsborough Pharmacy and Nutrition

110 Boone square St., Hillsborough919-245-1212Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 6:30 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm 
UNC Hillsborough Campus430 Waterstone Dr., Hillsborough919-595-5900Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Walgreens Store (#16128)200 Highway 70 East, Hillsborough919-732-6263Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 10:00 pm, Saturday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm, Sunday 1-:00 am - 2:00 pm

Alternative Disposal Option

If you are unable to safely dispose of prescription medications at the four locations above, please follow these simple steps to dispose of most medicine in your household trash:  

  1. Mix medications (liquid or pills, do not crush tablets or capsules) with an unappealing substance such as dirt, cat litter, or used coffee grounds.
  2. Place the mixture in a container such as a sealed plastic bag.
  3. Remove all identifiable information on the prescription label or medical packaging. 
  4. Place empty bottle or packaging in trash or recycling container (if made of acceptable material).  


sharps 3Approximately 800,000 needlestick injuries occur in the U.S. annually. Sanitation and recycling workers all suffer when needles are disposed of improperly.  To help protect workers, please see North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Flyer on Safe Needle Disposal (PDF).