Secure Medicine Return

Whatcom Med Return logo

Visit https://med-project.org/ to learn how you can safely dispose of old or unwanted medicine in Whatcom County.

Return kiosks have been installed at convenient drop-off locations throughout Whatcom County. For a complete list of drop-off locations, visit https://med-project.org/

If you can’t get to a drop-off location, you can pick up a free mailer to return your medications. Mailers are available at most libraries in Whatcom County or by requesting one from MED-Project.

Secure Medicine Return diagram

Secure medicine return programs are a way for consumers to dispose of leftover, unwanted or unused medicines in a safe and environmentally-sound way. They benefit our community by:

  • Helping to prevent drug abuse.
  • Reducing the risk for poisoning through accidental drug misuse.
  • Reducing pollution from waste medicines that are disposed of improperly.

Who manages secure medicine return in Whatcom County?

The Safe Medication Return program is operated by MED-Project, the approved program operator. As of November 21, 2121, the Washington State Department of Health oversees the establishment of the statewide program, monitors on-going operations, manages enforcement when compliance issues arise, and evaluates program effectiveness. 

An ordinance to adopt a secure medicine return regulation was approved by the Whatcom County Council, acting as the Health Board, on December 5, 2017. The regulation:

  • Expanded the types of medicine disposal options for Whatcom County residents.
  • Improved convenience for residents by increasing the number of locations where people can drop off their unused medicines.
  • Ensured financial sustainability of the program through a drug manufacturer-financed system.

On July 1, 2019 a statewide Drug Take Back Program was adopted, and on November 21, 2020, the Washington State Safe Medication Return program was implemented. Oversight of local medicine take back programs continued to be provided by local health jurisdictions for a one-year period, and was then transferred to the Washington State Department of Health.

Whatcom County will continue to keep its local ordinance on the books, but will cease local enforcement. If the statewide law, which has a sunset date of January 1, 2029, is not renewed, Whatcom County will have the opportunity to resume enforcement at that time.