Don' - Medication Disposal

Medications and personal care products are being detected in rivers, waterways, and groundwater. Wastewater treatment facilities are not equipped to filter out these chemicals, so they are showing up in drinking water.

In addition, many children are accidentally poisoned each year by items found in the home. Studies also show that individuals who abuse prescription drugs often get the medications from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. 

In order to protect our families and the environment, we must ensure that medications and personal care products are properly handled, stored and disposed!

  1. Angela Porta

    Solid Waste Specialist

The Pharmacy Take-Back Program allows Washtenaw County residents to take back their old, unwanted medications to a pharmacy to be properly disposed - for free! In compliance with the Controlled Substance Act (CSA), enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration, some participating pharmacies may not accept any controlled/ scheduled drugs

Medication Collection Instructions:

  1. Gather your unwanted medications based on the Acceptable Materials list below.
  2. Leave items in their original containers.
  3. Remove or black out any personal information on the label to protect your privacy, but make sure the drug name is still visible.
  4. Take medications to a participating pharmacy, and deliver the medications to the pharmacy counter. Be aware that some of the pharmacies on this list have additional requirements that must be met to use their program, and not all accept the same items. If you are unsure, call the pharmacy to confirm.

Acceptable Materials

  • Antibiotics
  • Cold and Flu Medications
  • Inhalers
  • Medicated Ointments / Lotions
  • Medication Samples
  • Medications for Pets
  • Non-Controlled Drug Enforcement Agency Drugs
  • Over-the-counter Medications
  • Prescription Medications
  • Steroids
  • Vitamins

Unacceptable Materials

Pharmacy Take Back Locations


We currently sponsor 14 locations, including options in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Chelsea, and Saline. 

  1. Big red barrel locations
  2. Medication Disposal Tips
  3. Other resources

Big Red BarrelBig red Barrel medication drop off box

The "Big Red Barrel" program is a partnership with local law enforcement agencies where people can dispose of prescription or over-the-counter pills, including controlled substances like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet - for free!

Pills only. No liquids, no syringes.

Local Locations

View the list of location of Big Red Barrels in our area.

Michigan Locations

State Police Take-Back Program

All 29 Michigan State Police posts across the state now serve as collection points for prescription drugs - including scheduled drugs. Medications can be surrendered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., excluding holidays. No appointment is needed. Liquids, inhalers, patches or syringes are not accepted. Visit the Michigan State Police Post web page for addresses and locations.

Poison help  1800 222 1222

Poison Control

Poison Control Website
Phone: 800-222-1222