Recycling Prescription Medications

Federal Guidelines

  • Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet or drain unless the label or accompanying patient information specifically instructs you to do so. When drugs are flushed down the toilet they end up at our city's Water Quality Control Facility. These pharmaceuticals can negatively affect our biological treatment process. For information on drugs that should be flushed, please visit the U.S. food and Drug Administration website.
  • To dispose of prescription drugs not labeled to be flushed, you may be able to take advantage of community drug take-back programs or other programs, such as household hazardous waste collection events, that collect drugs at a central location for proper disposal. Call the Public Works Department at 209-895-8060 to find out when the next mobile drug take-back program will be available in your community.
  • If a drug take back or collection program is not available, please adhere to the following:
    • Take your prescription drugs out of their original containers immediately.
    • Mix drugs with an undesirable substance, such as cat litter or used coffee grounds.
    • Put this mixture into a disposable container with a lid, such as an empty margarine tub, or into a resealable bag.
    • Conceal or remove any personal information, including Rx number, on the empty containers by covering it with black permanent marker or duct tape, or by scratching it off.
    • Place the sealed container with the mixture, and the empty drug containers, in the trash

Additional Information

Please call the City of Patterson Public Works Department at 209-895-8060 with any questions.