(805) 969-4344 [email protected]

No Drugs Down The Drain

In response to growing demand for a safe, convenient way to dispose of household medications, the Sheriff’s Office teamed up with County Public Works to install drop-boxes at each of the Sherriff’s substations throughout the County. The program is called Operation Medicine Cabinet.

No Drugs Down the Drain


Residents can drop off all unwanted medications, including prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs in the drop-boxes at the Sherriff’s Office. The boxes are located outside in front of the stations.

Carpinteria – 5775 Carpinteria Avenue
(805) 684-4561

Santa Barbara – 4434 Calle Real
(805) 681-4100

Goleta – 7042 Market Place Drive
(805) 571-1540


Unused medications that are flushed down the toilet or placed in drains pass through the sewer system and eventually enter our streams, lakes, and rivers.

Because medications have been detected in small amounts in surface water bodies, the major concerns have been increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics and interference with growth and reproduction in aquatic organisms such as fish and frogs.

The presence of medications in the environment is a complex issue and the level of risk to humans and the environment is still being determined. With tens of thousands of medicinal products currently on the market and with more being developed each year, it is not definitively known which products (or combinations of products) is a problem or what the long-term risks are. However, in order to minimize the potential negative and irreversible impacts on the environment, it is important that we limit the disposal of waste medications to the sewer and dispose them properly.

The following items can be deposited in the medication drop boxes:

  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Prescription medications
  • Medication samples
  • Medication for household pets
  • Medicated lotions or ointments

The following items are not accepted:

  • Needles or other “sharps”: MarBorg provides free, postage-paid mail-back containers for home-generated sharps. To order a container, simply call Marborg at (805) 963-1852.
  • Hazardous waste collection in Carpinteria CLICK HERE
  • Hazardous waste collection in Santa Barbara CLICK HERE
  • Thermometers
  • Personal Care products (e.g. non-medicated shampoo, perfume, etc.)
  • Trash
  • Mail
  • Lost and found materials
  • Empty containers
  • Business/professional waste

Please empty pills into a plastic bag that can be securely closed (e.g. Ziploc) and then place the bag in the drop-box. Place empty bottles, with personal information removed or concealed.

You can download the Operation Medicine Cabinet brochure in English or Spanish.

For more detailed information about the program, please CLICK HERE.

The program “Operation Medicine Cabinet” is for household medications only. Medical professionals are not eligible.