medical suppliesThere may be times when you end up with expired or unwanted medications for various reasons. Likewise, with medical supplies and equipment.  Perhaps someone you’re caring for no longer needs these items. Or maybe you are clearing out a loved one’s home after they have passed away. In any scenario, you need options for medications and medical supplies disposal.

There are ongoing discussions about the environmentally safe way to dispose of items to keep them out of landfills.  The terms reuse, recycle & reduce pertains to disposal items. Obviously, we can’t reuse medications or supplies, but we can do that with equipment.

There are safe ways to dispose of each of these types of supplies. The list below provides options for disposal based on the type of supplies. If you know of others, please put them in the comment box below.

Medications Disposal Options

Permanent drug disposal boxes – These can be found in your local community at the following locations:

Police departments


Fire stations


Municipal buildings

Contact these resources in your local community to see if they participate in this program. If they do, understand their hours and guidelines for accepting medications for disposal.

National Take Back Day – The DEA conducts biannually temporary disposal sites set up across the nation. Click on the link above to learn more about this program and where and when the next event is scheduled.

Home disposal – This medications disposal option is the least favorable option but may become necessary in certain situations. Click on the link to learn how to dispose of unwanted medications at home.

Medical Supplies Donation Options

Local animal rescues – Most of these locations have an on-site clinic. Since they are non-profits they rely heavily on donations of all kinds.  Contact them to see if they accept the type of medical supplies you have to donate.

MedShare – MedShare is a non-profit that accepts and distributes donations of medical supplies to keep them out of landfills. Click on the link for more information.

Medical Equipment Donation Options

Charities (thrift stores) – Most if not all charities that accept donations will accept non-biomedical equipment such as canes, walkers, wheel chairs, etc.

MedShare – As listed above under Medical Supplies Donations Options also accepts medical equipment.

St. Louis HELP – This is a non-profit health equipment lending program in the St. Louis area.  They accept gently used medical equipment as donations. Click on the link for more information.