Protect River Health While Cleaning Out Medicine Cabinets

April 26, 2019

This Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., the public is encouraged to safely dispose of unwanted or expired medications at locations across DC, Maryland and Virginia. Residents can bring any quantity and type of unused medication to drop-off points and safely dispose of them in minutes.

“Think twice before flushing any medication,” says David L. Gadis, CEO and General Manager of DC Water. “It can add trace pharmaceuticals and other substances to our rivers that affect water quality and aquatic life. Disposing of medication responsibly is an easy way to protect our community, and our waterways.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a nationwide event backed by law enforcement agencies, water utilities and health officials. Proper medication disposal prevents water pollution, accidental ingestion, drug abuse, and keeps communities safe. The service is free and anonymous.

To find the nearest disposal site, visit

For those who can’t make it to the take-back locations this Saturday, a list of permanent, secure disposal locations in the region is posted at

Alternatively, residents can safely discard unwanted medication at home with these easy instructions:

  1. Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers.
  2. Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
  3. Put mixture into a disposable container that can be sealed, like a plastic bag.
  4. Conceal or remove any personal information on empty containers, including Rx number, by covering it with permanent marker or by scratching it off.