Unwanted Medication and Prescription Drugs

Please do not place over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications in the garbage, flush down toilets, or pour in drains. Protect our water supply by properly disposing of unwanted or expired medications.


  • San Joaquin Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW) accepts medications, except narcotics, at NO COST from Stockton residents.
  • City of Stockton encourages the Public to drop off expired and unwanted medications at one of the many local collection sites


Home-Generated Sharps Waste

Photo of a Hypodermic NeedleState law prohibits placing home-generated sharps waste in garbage, recycling, and green waste containers. Sharps waste must be transported in an approved sharps containers and managed by a specified facility (i.e., household hazardous waste facility, medical waste generator facility, or facility managed as part of a mail-back program.) 

  • Home-generated sharps waste includes hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices used to penetrate the skin for delivery of medications.


Why can't I throw my sharps in trash cart?

Improper disposal of sharps in trash or down the toilet is a health and safety threat to children, home health care providers, sanitation and sewage treatment workers, and others through accidental "stick" injuries. People exposed to sharps can contract life-altering diseases from bloodborne pathogens.

Where can I dispose of my used sharps?

Photo of a Needle BoxTo safely dispose of used home-generated sharps, place in a biohazard sharps container and contact your personal physician, clinic administrator, or local pharmacy. Ask if they have a sharps take-back program for customers.


If sharps are purchased online, please remember to request a pre-addressed, prepaid mail-back box for used sharps. Mail-back containers are easy and convenient. See External Links below for a list of sharps mail-back services authorized for California.


The San Joaquin County's HHW Consolidation Facility accepts home-generated sharps sealed in a biohazard sharps container, medications (no controlled substances), and other household hazardous waste free of charge from San Joaquin County residents.

 Photo of San Joaquin County HHW Facility

San Joaquin County
Household Hazardous Waste Facility
7850 R.A. Bridgeford Street, Stockton

Open Thursday through Sunday
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on the San Joaquin County HHW Program, please call the San Joaquin County Department of Public Works, Solid Waste Division at (209) 468-3066. 


View the Sharps & Medication Collection Program brochure for local drop-off locations and information on safely disposing of medical sharps and unwanted medications.


External Links

Stockton Recycles 

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Medical Waste Management Program

San Joaquin County HHW Consolidation Facility - Collection site for San Joaquin County residents

Sharps Collection Sites - Medical sharps collection sites in San Joaquin County

Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal 

California Product Stewardship Council 

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 4/18/2022