Do Walgreens recycle prescription bottles?

In this article, we discuss whether Walgreens assists in recycling medication prescription bottles. Additionally, we also discuss where else can one recycle their prescription bottles at.

Do Walgreens recycle prescription bottles?

Yes, some Walgreens outlets have kiosks where you can drop off your prescription bottles, as well as unused or expired medications.

These bottles can be reused after they get cleaned, or in some cases, sent to a recycling facility by Walgreens themselves.

First of all – get rid of unused medication

Make sure you get rid of any residual, unused pills, capsules, lotions, or liquids before you do anything with the container. Taking all prescriptions to a local drug collection facility for safe disposal is your best option. 

Most pharmacies feature a drop-off location, however the sorts of medications they take may vary. Before you go, give them a call if you have any doubts. 

Some programmes demand that the prescription be in its original packaging, a plastic bottle, or a Ziploc bag before being dropped off, so you might not have to bother about recycling the packaging.

If you are unable to send off your medications, the majority of them can be thrown away.

To guarantee that no children, pets, or wildlife inadvertently swallow the drug, the FDA suggests filling a plastic bag with dirt, coffee grinds, or any other foul-tasting object and placing the medication inside (leave any pills intact rather than smashing them) before tossing it away.

There are a number of drugs that should never be discarded. Controlled medications with significant misuse potential, such as opioids and benzodiazepines, are on the FDA’s “flush list.” 

Do not throw away any of the medications on this list if you are attempting to get rid of them. 

Drug take-back programmes are meant to help you securely dispose of these drugs, so taking your prescriptions to a pharmacy or a local collection event is always the best option.

If you can’t bring these prescriptions to a collection point, the FDA suggests flushing them, but they can harm local animals when they leak into our watershed. 

Unfortunately, because flushing pharmaceuticals has become widespread (even for over-the-counter prescriptions), residues of common medications including acetaminophen, hormones, and antibiotics have been found in over 80% of US rivers. 

Not only might these medications be hazardous on their own, but the combined effects of several substances are unknown and could be exceedingly detrimental or even lethal to wildlife. 

Bringing your medicines to a take-back facility is always the best solution.

Are pill bottles recyclable?

Pill bottles can be recycled if certain requirements are satisfied prior to placing them in your curbside recycling container. It’s also worth noting that not all localities accept pill bottles for recycling. 

Calling your town’s sanitation service to see if they accept them is a decent rule of thumb. You may also inquire about if they allow curbside pickup or dropoff.

The most frequent prescription drug bottles, according to SingleCare, are composed of No. 5 plastic or polypropylene, which is a recyclable substance. 

Others may be made of various polymers, while municipal recycling systems accept the majority of them. Still, it’s worth checking with your local government to see if they accept that number through curbside recycling.

Where else can I recycle my empty pill bottles?

The following options can help you to select the recycling method that would be most convenient for you.

  • You may use the Recycle Nation website to discover a recycling programme near you that takes #5 plastic. By entering your zip code and selecting the sort of garbage you’re wanting to dispose of (in this example, plastic #5 or polypropylene), you may refine your search. You can also look for a drop-off location through the Drug Enforcement Administration.
  • Preserve’s Gimme 5 programme lets you to recycle responsibly by mailing in #5 plastics, such as empty bottles, dairy cartons, and takeaway boxes. While Gimme 5 was put on hold during the COVID-19 epidemic, the programme is set to resume in September 2021. Details may be found on the program’s website.
  • Other projects will collect and reuse old bottles. Matthew 25: Ministries, situated in Cincinnati, is one such initiative that takes mailed-in bottle donations. Instructions are available on the organisation’s website.
  • Your old bottles may also be accepted by certain animal sanctuaries. To see whether your local ASPCA is in need, contact them. Consider contacting local clinics and homeless shelters to see if they take bottle donations.
  • Medical disposal kiosks are available at some CVS locations, but there is no standardised system in place. You might also ask your local drugstore to invest in a recycling or drop-off programme.

How to repurpose old pill bottles

Recycling, although a good option, does not actually guarantee that the waste would not end up in a landfill. Hence, it would be better to repurpose a pill bottle which can help to serve various purposes in and around the house.

If you are someone who likes DIY craft and are looking for various ways to repurpose your old pill bottles, take a look at the ideas mentioned below.

  • Hide-a-Key
  • Candle Holder
  • Makeup Organiser
  • Handbag Trash Can
  • Jewellery Holder
  • Piping Tip Organiser
  • Fire Starter
  • Travel-Size Shampoo
  • Cotton Swab Container
  • Rainbow Crayons

We shall discuss these in more detail below.


It’s just too obvious to hide a key in your mailbox or beneath the welcome mat — those are the first places potential burglars would search. 

If you’re truly anxious about locking yourself out, keep a spare key hidden in a pill bottle with a pebble stuck to the lid. No one will be able to tell. Just keep in mind which rock you’re looking for.

Candle Holder

By painting and glueing together a few bottles of various heights and shapes, you can create a great candle holder. With tealight candles, it creates a stunning centrepiece; no one would guess what you created it out of.

Makeup Organiser

Prescription pill bottles are the perfect size for storing your cosmetic supplies and equipment, such as brushes, eyeliners, and mascara. With this simple approach, you can keep your dresser neat and tidy.

Handbag Trash Can

A woman’s purse may quickly become a bottomless pit of unnecessary junk, making it difficult to locate the items that are actually helpful. 

So here’s a brilliant idea: keep all the candy wrappers, receipts, and who knows what else in an empty pill bottle until you get to a trash can. It’s just the right size to contain everything without taking up too much room.

Jewellery Holder

Keep your little rings and earrings secure in one of these containers if you’re going on vacation or even simply overnight at a friend’s house. It helps to be prepared, and if you’re usually dragging about too much jewellery, this could help.

Piping Tip Organiser

For all you bakers out there, this is for you. Because pipe tips aren’t inexpensive, you’ll want to keep them secure and tidy. This is a fantastic idea since you can number them on the lids so you know what’s what.

Fire Starter

When you or your kids go camping or trekking in the woods, several petroleum-jelly-soaked cotton balls placed in an empty pill bottle can make a great firestarter. Make sure you don’t burn the pill container since burning plastic is bad for the environment.

Travel-Size Shampoo

When travelling or camping, you don’t want to bring large quantities of shampoo, conditioner, or lotion, so fill up your empty pill bottles to reduce room in your backpack.

Cotton Swab Container

Cotton swabs, sometimes known as Q-tips, fit wonderfully inside a standard-sized prescription pill container; it seems like such a natural fit! This is ideal for travelling or simply storing in each bathroom around the house.

Rainbow Crayons

If you have a little child, you’re bound to have a few broken crayons — the thin design appears to make it all too simple for toddlers to break them. 

Instead of throwing away those broken bits, melt them into a pill box to produce these fantastic rainbow crayons; the larger size will be much more suitable for your small ones.

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