News Release
September 12, 2013

More Pharmaceutical Disposal Drop Boxes Available in Chicago

Program expanded to ensure proper disposal of medications and controlled substances

Quenjana Adams

CHICAGO – Today, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) in partnership with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced that its pharmaceutical disposal drop box program is now available at all Chicago police stations to allow citywide accessibility for the proper disposal of expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs.  Since 2008, the drop boxes were located in just five police stations.

“Discarding our medication responsibly protects our waterways, our environment and our neighbors,” said CDPH Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D.  “Now that our drop boxes are available citywide, residents can stop throwing their medicine in the trash or down the drain and instead dispose of them in a safe and convenient way.”

Available 24-hours a day year-round, Chicago’s pharmaceutical disposal program offers residents a convenient and environmentally friendly alternative to flushing medicines into the wastewater stream or placing them in municipal landfills.  The main goals of the program are to help avoid unintended use, reduce or prevent recreational pharmaceutical use and to keep contaminants out of Chicago’s public waterways. 

By using the police facilities as a drop-off location, controlled substances can be deposited safely and destroyed under the observation of sworn law enforcement officials.

Ward 39 Alderman Margaret Laurino has been a proponent of the City’s pharmaceutical disposal program for two years and played a key role in the program’s expansion.

"This is good for Chicago because seniors will be able to properly dispose of unused or unwanted medications," Laurino said.  "It's also a great boost for the environment.”

Pharmaceuticals (non-controlled substances) also can be brought to the city’s Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility at 1150 N. North Branch Street.

The Chicago pharmaceutical program is provided as a service for residents only.  Business and commercial sector waste will not be accepted at any of the drop-off locations. 

CDPH aims to protect the public health and the environment by reducing environmental risk throughout the city including creating healthy and safe environments by reducing environmental hazards that have a negative impact on the health of our City.  For more information, visit