Unused Medicine Disposal

50th Anniversary

Community Events


National Drug Take Back Day is September 27th

The Lakewood Police Department invites you to "Clean Out Your 
Medicine Cabinet." 

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day 
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
Saturday, September 27 
Bring unused over-the-counter and prescription medications to the following location: 
Lakewood Police Department 
Upper Parking Deck 
445 S. Allison Pkwy. 
(West of Alameda and Wadsworth) 

Items not accepted; 

Needles & Sharps 
Mercury thermometers 
Oxygen containers 
Chemotherapy/Radioactive substances 
Pressurized canisters 
Illicit drugs

Recent news article in the Canyon Courier - Reprinted

Free service handles disposal of no-longer-needed drugs
By: Vicky Gits—Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Finding a place to properly dispose of unused medications no longer has to be such a hassle,
thanks to a free disposal drop box recently installed in the pharmacy department at the King
Soopers in Bergen Park.

The drop-box service is being funded by Evergreen Rotary as part of the statewide Colorado
Medication Take Back Project, which so far has 12 locations, including nine on the Front Range
and two in Summit County.

Evergreen resident and Rotary member Joyce Williams had been very involved in the program
since 2007 as a unit leader for hazardous-waste compliance and enforcement with the Colorado
Department of Public Health. She has since retired.

"The way it works is, people can take all their over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions,
except controlled substances," Williams said. One box can hold 20 gallons, or about 40 pounds,
of meds. So far 17,000 pounds of drug material have been diverted through the program since it
was launched in December 2009.

It is generally well known that a large quantity of powerful medications is finding its way into the
nation's drinking water and streams, through disposal as well as through human ingestion and

The chemicals, such as antibiotics, antidepressants and sex hormones, can have damaging
effects on human cells and wildlife, according to research by the Associated Press’ national
investigative team. Most water providers don't test drinking water for pharmaceuticals, and they
aren't removed by conventional filtering processes.

Reasons to dispose of meds
Unused meds also can be a source of accidental poisoning for young children and an
opportunity for experimentation among teens.

The drop box is set up like a mailbox and weighs 300 pounds. Objects enter and drop down into
an area that has two locks on it. The pharmacy has one key, and the disposal service has the
other. When the box is full, the pharmacist calls a collection service, Curbside Inc., which takes
the material to Kimball, Neb., for incineration.

Williams started working on the drop-box idea in 2007 and finally got the boxes installed in
2010. She said the hardest part was getting stores to take responsibility for boxes.
"Kroger has been the only vendor. We talked to Walmart, Walgreens and Safeway, and no oneelse would assume the liability," Williams said.

There are various other programs, such as the drug roundup sponsored by the Drug

Enforcement Administration once a year. This year the DEA’s National Drug Take Back Initiativeis April 28.

Locations of drug drop boxes

(all at King Soopers)

Wheat Ridge



Highlands Ranch


Castle Rock

City Market in Breckenridge

Other locations

Denver Health, Denver

Tri-County Health, Commerce City

Tri-County Health, Englewood

Allowed substances

Prescription medication (except narcotics or controlled substances)

Over-the-counter medications

Medication samples

Pet medications


Liquid medication in glass or leak-proof containers

Medicated ointments and lotions


Not allowed

Narcotics and other controlled substances

Infectious or bloody waste

Hydrogen peroxide

Aerosol cans


IV bags


Empty containers

Source: Colorado Medication Take-Back Pilot Project

Colorado Medication Take-Back Pilot Project
A secure, convenient and environmentally sound option for the disposal of
unused and unwanted household medications 
What is the Colorado Medication Take-Back Pilot Project?
The Colorado Medication Take-Back Project is a network of secure boxes for the collection of unused and unwanted household medications.  The collection boxes can be found at eleven convenient locations - nine on the Front Range and two in Summit County. 
The Locations Are:

King Soopers
3400 Youngfield St., Wheat Ridge
1650 30th St, Boulder
4271 S. Buckley Rd, Aurora
9551 S. University Blvd, Highlands Ranch
2810 Quebec St, Denver
100 Founders Parkway, Castle Rock
1173 Bergen Parkway, Evergreen
Tri-County Health Department
4857 S. Broadway, Englewood
4201 E. 72nd Ave. Suite D, Commerce City 
Denver Health
Wellington E. Webb Center for Primary Care, 301 W. 6th Ave, Denver
City Market
300 Dillon Ridge Rd, Dillon
400 North Parkway, Breckenridge

 Why Should I Use the Project?
When over-the-counter or prescription medications are no longer needed, they should be removed from the home.  Unused medications can fall into the hands of small children and cause accidental poisoning.  More than one million children under the age of five are treated each year in the United States for poisoning caused by household chemicals and medications.  Older children and teens may be tempted to experiment with easily available medications, causing harm to themselves or their friends.  Nationally, one in five teens has reported abusing prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them.

Medication disposal should be done in a manner that minimizes the chance of misuse and also protects the environment.  Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can cause pollution of lakes, streams and water supplies.  The project contractor, Curbside Inc., will dispose of collected medications by hazardous waste incineration, offering the highest degree of environmental protection. 
How Do I Use the Project?
Simply gather up your unused, unwanted and expired medications, take them to one of the project locations and drop them into the box.  Review the posted lists of medications and materials that are, or are not, accepted.  Please take the time to fill-out and mail-in one of the available survey cards.  Responses will help gauge project success.
What Can I Dispose of in the Collection Boxes?
It is important to follow the instructions posted at each collection box.  Due to strict Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) regulations governing the disposal of narcotics and other controlled substances, they cannot be deposited in project boxes.  Consult the posted list of prohibited controlled substances.   If you are still unsure, ask your pharmacist if any of your prescribed medications are considered controlled substances.


Prescription Medications (except for narcotics or controlled substances)
Over-the-counter Medications
Medication Samples
Pet Medications
Liquid Medication in Glass or Leak-proof Containers
Medicated Ointments and Lotions
Not Allowed:
Narcotics and Other Controlled Substances
Bloody or infectious waste
Personal Care Products
Hydrogen Peroxide
Aerosol Cans
IV Bags
Needles or Other Sharps
Plastic Shopping Bags
Empty Containers
Business Waste 
How Can I Dispose of Narcotics and Other Controlled Substances?
US DEA National Drug Take Back Initiative
April 28, 2012Call or visit the website of your city or county government to see if they are planning a local program or event for the collection of narcotics or other controlled substances.  Communities often partner with local law enforcement agencies to collect, catalogue and incinerate narcotics and controlled substances in compliance with federal regulations.
If a local program or event is not available for the collection of narcotics and other controlled substances - do not flush!  Instead, dispose of the medications in the trash as follows:

Take unused, unneeded or expired medicines out of their original containers  Mix them with an undesirable substance like kitty litter or used coffee grounds. Remove or destroy all identifying personal information, including prescription number, on the empty medicine container labels.  You can destroy personal information by covering with black permanent marker or by scratching it off.
Wrap the medication mixture and the empty containers in newspaper to help conceal them and place them in the trash.
Be sure to keep children or pets away from the trash before it is picked up and hauled away.

For more information on the proper disposal of household medications, visit http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hm/hhw/howto/medications.htm  and   www.smarxtdisposal.net.
How Long Will the Project be Available?
The project is intended to last through the year 2012. However, the project could run for a longer, or shorter, period of time depending upon availability of operating funds.

 Who Should I Contact for More Information?
Please call 303-692-2903 or email cdphe.hmmedtakeback@state.co.us if you have questions or would like more information.

 Who is Sponsoring the Project?
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is managing the project with funding and other support from:Pollution Prevention Advisory Board
King Soopers and City Market
Tri-County Health Department
Denver Health
EPA Region 8
Denver Water
Summit Water Quality Committee
Aurora Water
High Country Conservation Center
Greenprint Denver
Town of Castle Rock
Peer Assistance Services
Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority
Metro Wastewater Reclamation District
Colorado Pharmacists Society
Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
Rotary of Evergreen