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Hazardous Waste Symbol Picture by Francisco Javier Argel at http://www.flickr.com/photos/totoro_zine/2062522813/

Hazardous Waste Warning

Wastes in this section are dangerous to you and the environment. Handle them carefully and dispose of them properly.



Legally, households may not transport more than 15 gallons of wet or 125 pounds of dry hazardous materials. Read about the regulation.

Click below to watch our Medication Disposal Video:

What is a Controlled Substance?

Controlled substances are regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and include addictive and habit-forming medications like pain killers and anti-depressants. Because of this, controlled substances have special handling instructions and disposal concerns.

Use locations listed in the "Where to go" section below to properly dispose of these substances, as current laws and regulations prevent hazardous waste centers from accepting controlled substances.

You can also download our Operation Medicine Cabinet brochure in English or Spanish for a list of law enforcement sites in Santa Barbara County that accept controlled substances.

New Pharmacy-Based Program

In June 2016, the County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that requires pharmaceutical manufacturers that sell product in our county to establish and fund a free collection program for unwanted household medications. MED-Project, the organization implementing the program on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry, installed the first round of collection kiosks in March 2018. Sites are included in the "Where to Go" section at the bottom of this page and can also be accessed on MED-Project's website.

Where Can I Find More Information?

Find a list of controlled substances on the DEA's website.

Where to go

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