Safe, Free Disposal Of Medicines And Sharps

The UCSC Student Health Center Pharmacy has safe and free disposal of your unused and expired medications as well as household sharps (in approved sharps containers).

The Sharps Solution program is administered through a county grant with help from Ecology Action. It's free and available for students, staff and faculty. The Sharps Solution program will improve the environment by having fewer chemicals and sharps in sewers and landfills. It will also improve safety at home, especially for children, pets and the elderly.


What to Do

  • Combine all pills in a plastic baggie to save space. Recycle the plastic pill bottles.
  • Leave liquid medicines in the original container.
  • Mark out personal information on labels.
  • Deposit all items in the Pharmacy's medicine disposal bin.


  • Items accepted include: prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, pet medication, medication samples, vitamins, medicated ointments, creams and lotions, inhalers and liquid medications in leak-proof containers.
  • Items not accepted include: controlled substances (narcotics), personal care products, aerosol cans, bloody or infectious waste, thermometers, IV bags, hydrogen peroxide, and empty containers.


What to Do

  • Put all sharps in an approved red plastic sharps container. Sharps containers are available to students free of charge at the pharmacy. 
  • Place approved sharps container in RED sharps disposal receptacle located near the pharmacy.

About Sharps

  • Sharps are hypodermic needles, syringes, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, broken medication glass, such as ampoules, scalpels and suture needles
  • Legally all sharps must be disposed of in approved sharps containers and are not allowed in trash and landfills, even in a container.