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Drug Disposal

KPD Annual DEA Drug Take Back

The Kensington Police Department participates in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative headed by the DEA. Typically, the DEA will organize one drug take back events each year where residents can bring unused medications, hypodermic needles, and controlled substances to the department and we will have them disposed of properly. The take back event will be posted on this website once the DEA announces the date.

Other Options for Pharmaceuticals and Sharps

Pharmaceutics and sharps (but not controlled substances) While you can bring pharmaceuticals and sharps to the DEA Drug Take Back Events, you MAY NOT bring controlled substances to any of the pharmaceutical and sharps drop off locations listed below.

Pharmaceuticals: How to Properly Manage & Dispose of Unwanted or Expired Medications.

  1. DO NOT pour medications down the drain or flush down the toilet.
  2. Pour pills out of bottle and place in a sealed plastic baggy.
  3. Liquids should be left in original container and placed in a sealed plastic baggy.
  4. DO NOT dispose of syringes or needles with medications. See instructions for sharps below.

Sharps: How to Properly Manage & Dispose of Sharps, Syringes & Needles

  1. Sharps should be placed into an approved* container immediately after use (do not overfill).
  2. Do not attempt to remove, bend, break or recap the needle.
  3. Keep all sharps and disposal containers out of reach of children.
  4. DO NOT place used needles, syringes or lancets in the garbage or recycling containers.
  5. DO NOT flush down the toilet.
  6. Bring your filled approved sharps container to the locations listed below or on the list of West County Drop Off locations.

* Approved Sharps Containers

The FDA recommends that used needles and other sharps be placed in FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers. FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers are generally available through pharmacies, medical supply companies, health care providers, and online in addition to limited supplies available at the El Cerrito & North Richmond facilities listed below.

Bring your sealed plastic baggies to the locations listed below or other approved sites:

Permanent Contra Costa County Take-Back Locations for Pharmaceuticals and/or Sharps (no controlled substances):

El Cerrito: Sharps & Medicines 
El Cerrito Recycling and Environmental Resource Center
7501 Schmidt Lane
Check El Cerrito Recycling Center website for operating hours and other requirements

North Richmond: Sharps & Medicines 
Sharps & Medicines
West County HHW Collection Facility
101 Pittsburg Avenue
Drop-off hours are TH, F & Sat 9am to 4 pm, closed from 12 to 12:30

Pinole: Sharps Kiosk & Medicine Kiosk 
Pinole Police Station
880 Tenant Avenue
Lobby hours are M-F 8am-5pm

Richmond: Police Station: Sharps Kiosk & Medicine Kiosk 
1701 Regatta Blvd.
Drop-off hours are M-Sun 7am -8pm

Richmond: West County Wastewater District Office: Sharps Kiosk & Medicine Kiosk 
2910 Hilltop Drive, Richmond
Lobby hours are M-F 8am-5pm closed 12pm -1pm

San Pablo: Sharps Kiosk & Medicine Kiosk 
San Pablo Police Station
13880 San Pablo Avenue
Lobby hours are 7:30am-6pm M-Thurs

Walgreens stores in California have Safe Medication Disposal Kiosks.

Other Resources to Consider

  • Your doctor’s office or hospital may accept their patients’ sharps for disposal (but check first).
  • Needle Destruction Devices. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently only lists the “Disintegrator” as a needle destruction device approved for use by self-injectors.
  • Check the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) website: and place ‘sharps’ in the search box to find a listing of drug manufacturer’s mail-back programs, some of which are free.
  • Other businesses and facilities that take back home-generated sharps can be found by calling 1-800-CLEANUP (1-800-253-2687) or visiting the Earth 911 website.

Mail-Back Fee Services

Sharps and/or Medications – Commercial Operations

  • Republic Services (855) 737-7871
  • Sharps Compliance, Inc. (800) 772-5657
  • Stericycle, Inc. (800) 355-8773
  • WCM (Waste & Compliance Management, Inc.) (866) 436-9264
  • Waste Management MedWaste Tracker (800) 664-1434