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Island County > Public Works > Solid Waste > Residential Medications & Sharps
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​Medications & Sharps Disposal

Residential Medications & Sharps Disposal

The following guidelines apply to RESIDENTIAL wastes only:

Store medications in a locked medicine cabinet to prevent theft, abuse or accidental poisoning.  Even non-prescription medications can be a danger to children and pets.
Disposing of medications properly is environmentally responsible and can prevent accidental use, overdose or abuse by others who may have access to them. 

Medication Disposal:

  • Safe Medication Return Program - MED-Project 
    A free statewide program available for all Washington state residents.  They offer two ways to return expired or unwanted medication, by mail or drop off sites.
  • Island County Sheriff's Department provides a drop box for medication in pill form only (no liquids) in the lobby of the Island County Annex at 1 NE 6th Street, Coupeville, Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Empty pills into ziplock bag before disposal. Call (360) 679-7310, (360) 321-5111 x7310, or (360) 629-4505 x7310 for more information.
  • Do not place medicines in the trash or recycling, and never flush them down the toilet.

Hypodermic Needles (Sharps) Disposal:

  1. Place hypodermic needles and/or syringes into:
    1. A manufactured "sharps" container available at pharmacies; or
    2. A two-liter plastic soda bottle.  Label bottle as "SHARPS" using 2" wide tape (or larger) and a large felt-tip pen.
  2. Securely tape the lid closed when filled
  3. Dispose of sharps container at any Island County Solid Waste Facilities.
    1. Solid waste disposal fees apply, a minimum charge of $13.25 covers the first 160 pounds of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) disposal.
    2. Please let the attendant know you are disposing of "sharps".  The attendant will direct you on where to safely dispose of them.

Mercury Thermometers Disposal:

Accepted for free at any Island County Solid Waste facilities through our Household Hazardous Waste Program. Secure when transporting to prevent breakage.

Clinical Medications & Sharps Disposal

The following applies to pharmacies, medical, dental, and veterinary clinics, nursing homes, and other health care provider wastes only:

Island County Code 8.08B.330 prescribes handling, treatment and disposal standards for Contaminated Sharps and other Infectious Wastes. For questions regarding the Infectious waste section of the Island County Code contact the Island County Public Health at 360-679-7350, 360-321-5111 x7350, or 360-629-4505 x7350.

Please visit the State of Washington Department of Ecology website or call 425-649-7000 for assistance with disposal of pharmaceutical waste.  Please remember that it is not appropriate for health care professionals to dispose of unwanted medications down any drain!


For Additional Assistance Please Call

360-679-7386360-321-5111 ext. 7386, or 360-629-4522 ext. 7386