The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality oversees the Drug Take-Back Program, which offers Oregon residents a convenient, safe, and secure way to dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
Find a participating drop-off site
Safe Drug Disposal website
Toll-Free Telephone: 844-482-5322
Why is safe medicine disposal important?
Leftover or expired medicines can pose several serious environmental and health risks. If not disposed, unused medicines can lead to accidental poisonings, addiction or abuse. Medicines can also have health and environmental impacts when they end up in a landfill or are flushed down the toilet or drain. Wastewater treatment plants and septic systems are usually not equipped to treat pharmaceuticals. Chemical compounds from these medicines can pass through treatment plants or septic systems to our rivers or groundwater.
How does it work?
It's never been easier! The Drug Take-Back Program makes it more convenient to safely dispose of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicines in two ways. There is no charge for either service.
Take your unwanted household medicines to a drop-off site: You can take your unwanted medicines to a participating drop-off site and dispose of them in the on-site secure repository. You don't need to show ID or fill out any paperwork to use the drop-off site.
Mail-back: You can request and receive a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope and mail in your unused medicines for disposal.
In communities underserved by drop-off sites, there may also be collection events or other services, such as locations where mail-back envelopes can be picked up in-person.
Collection services are for household disposal, not pharmaceutical waste from businesses. Per ORS 459A.200, services are available to::
- Oregon residents
- Non-business entities in Oregon
- Ultimate users, as defined by 21 U.S.C. 802(27)
Program services are not intended for law enforcement agencies or entities that generate pharmaceutical waste, such as a hospital, health care clinic, health care provider office, veterinary clinic or pharmacy.
Program services are provided by two private program operators in accordance with the Drug Take-Back Law (Oregon Revised Statutes 459A.200 to 459A.266 and the Drug Take-Back rules in Chapter 340, Division 98) and with program plans approved by DEQ. DEQ provides administrative oversight for the programs and, in partnership with the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, monitors program operations for compliance. The Program is funded by drug manufacturers and free of charge to Oregon residents.
DEQ approved program plans for two program operators to implement drug take-back programs in Oregon: The Drug Takeback Solutions Foundation and MED-Project USA, LLC.
Program operators must operate their program in accordance with their approved program plans or changes as approved by DEQ pursuant to ORS 459A.212. Program operators must also submit annual reports on program performance.
December 2022 public meeting documents:
On Dec. 13, 2022, DEQ held a virtual meeting to review the implementation of the Oregon Drug Take-Back Program in its first program year. The meeting included presentations by DEQ and the two program operators.
Manufacturers should familiarize themselves with the Drug Take-Back Law, including ORS 459A.203, which explains manufacturers' requirements for participating in a drug take-back program. Manufacturers should contact the program operators directly with inquiries on how to participate.
Under ORS 459A.203(2), a covered manufacturer is not required to participate in a drug take-back program if it provides sufficient proof to DEQ that it manufactures covered drugs for fewer than 50 patients in Oregon.
For guidance on how to submit a claim of exemption, please see Section 1 of Guide for Oregon Drug Take-Back Programs.
The following manufacturers have claimed exemption from participating in a drug take-back program:
- Parsolex GMP Center, Inc. (formerly Purdue GMP Center, Inc.)
3000 Kent Avenue, Suite C1-100
West Lafayette, IN 47906-1075
Pharmacies, law enforcement agencies and other potential authorized collectors, as defined in ORS 459A.200, have an opportunity to join a statewide program as authorized collectors and offer their communities a safe and secure way to dispose of unwanted drugs.
Authorized collectors will host collection kiosks for program operators. A program operator will service the kiosk for the authorized collectors, transport the pharmaceutical waste and ensure its proper disposal. Drug manufacturers are responsible for the cost of collection and disposal.
Examples of authorized collectors for a drug take-back program:
A person who is registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration of the United States Department of Justice and qualifies under federal law to collect and dispose of controlled substances or qualifies under federal law to have the person's registration modified in such a way that authorizes the person to collect and dispose of controlled substances.
A law enforcement agency.
Potential authorized collectors interested in becoming a drop-off site can contact the program operators directly:
The Drug Takeback Solutions Foundation
Kirk Herweck, Director of Consumer Drug Take-Back Solutions
Phone: 1-800-350-0397, option #5
Dr. Victoria Travis, National Program Director
3439 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, OR 97232
In areas where a program operator is unable to establish a drop-off site, the program operator may seek DEQ approval to provide additional services or host collection events.
Local governments should program operators directly if they have questions about what the programs will offer in their jurisdiction, including possible additional services or collection events if drop-off sites are not established.