Palo Alto Police Department installs drug disposal container


Palo Alto residents have another place to safely dispose of unused, expired or unwanted prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication. A new medication disposal bin has been installed in the lobby of the Palo Alto Police Department, located at 275 Forest Ave. in downtown.

The lobby is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. No paperwork or identification is required and there is no fee for disposal, according to a press release from the police department.

Residents can dispose of any types of medication, including prescription drugs that are considered to be "controlled substances" like pain medicine. Loose pills should be put into a Ziploc plastic bag. Those already in blister packaging don't need to be removed from the packaging and can be deposited directly into the bin. Liquid medication and ointments can also be deposited directly into the bin.

Syringes, needles and and other skin-puncturing devices cannot be disposed of at this location, police said.

Empty medication bottles can go into curbside recycling containers.

Other medication disposal bins located in Palo Alto include:

● Regional Water Quality Control Plant, at 2501 Embarcadero Road (includes accommodations for disposing of sharps waste and needles)

● Walgreens, at 300 University Ave. (Go to the pharmacy counter)

● Palo Alto Medical Foundation, at 795 El Camino Real (Go to the pharmacy counter)

The disposal bin was installed earlier this fall as part of a regional effort with the Santa Clara Valley Water District, the California Product Stewardship Council, the City of San Jose, the County of Santa Clara, and the City of Palo Alto as part of the "Don't Rush to Flush" campaign. The campaign, which launched in 2013, encourages residents to stop flushing unwanted medication so as to protect water quality and public health.

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4 people like this
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2015 at 11:36 am

I'd be interested to know why any "service" offered for the residents of Palo Alto always seem to have a heavy coverage north of Oregon Expressway and never any opportunities south of there.

All the post offices are (we lost the last one down here when the Alma Plaza closed), and these drop offs.

I resent having to waste gas and time chasing up to the 'entitled' end of town.

7 people like this
Posted by Derp
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Dec 3, 2015 at 12:37 pm

I agree with your sentiment Elizabeth, but let's be honest: Palo Alto is entitled all over. Consider your own comment.

How many cities don't have medication disposal to start with?

1 person likes this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 3, 2015 at 12:45 pm

Ha. Entitled all over sounds right to me.

2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 3, 2015 at 12:47 pm

[Post removed.]

1 person likes this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 3, 2015 at 1:28 pm

Police HQ is where it is - it's not going to move anytime soon (until the new HQ is built --- and then it will be closer to you). Or would you prefer to have one of these boxes in the Mitchell Park Library?

Like this comment
Posted by Just passing through
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Well, given the horrible traffic and parking situation, I almost never go to Downtown PA. So, it is very unlikely I will go use that drop box there. It would actually be smart to also have a drop off spot in South PA, if they want people to use such a service.

Like this comment
Posted by parent
a resident of South of Midtown
on Dec 3, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Because these drug disposal boxes can contain controlled substances (prescription narcotics, etc.), I think it is important (perhaps even required by law) for the boxes to be in location that is equipped to deal with these kinds of drugs. A police station is an obvious choice. Fire stations may sometimes be unstaffed (when the crew is on call). How about putting a box at the county court house (near California Ave)?

And why don't any drug stores in the city have these boxes? I have seen them at drug stores in San Francisco.

4 people like this
Posted by Unnecessary
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 3, 2015 at 6:43 pm

You can take your left over meds to Walgreen's, too, for disposal.

3 people like this
Posted by A
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm

This is a fantastic service so quit bitching about it. Before you had to go to the Santa Clara sherrif's department to get rid of narcotic-like medicines. This is so close and convenient as it is at city hall with tons of parking. I have been waiting a long time for this service. Thanks PAPD!

Like this comment
Posted by better idea
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 3, 2015 at 10:12 pm

I simply place unused medications in a mortar, add vinegar, and stir. The medication dissolves (as it would in the acidic environment of your stomach) and can then be safely and easily disposed of in the regular trash.

3 people like this
Posted by A Proud Southie
a resident of Monroe Park
on Dec 3, 2015 at 10:45 pm

"I resent having to waste gas and time chasing up to the 'entitled' end of town."

As Curmudgeon's deleted post recommended, stop whining and do something positive about this phantom inferiority complex.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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