drug pic
Newton Police Department
collects unused medicines/drugs.

At the Health Department we will continue to collect properly disposed of sharps.

So How Do I SAFELY Dispose of Unused Medicines? 

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) provides these methods for safe disposal of medicines.

If no disposal instructions are given on the prescription drug labeling and no take-back program is available in your area, throw the drugs in the household trash following these steps:

1.Remove them from their original containers and mix them with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds, dirt or kitty litter (this makes the drug less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through the trash seeking drugs).

2. Place the mixture in a sealable bag, empty can or other container to prevent the drug from leaking or breaking out of a garbage bag.

FDA’s Ilisa Bernstein, Pharm.D., J.D., offers a few more tips:

*Scratch out all identifying information on the prescription label to make it unreadable. This will help protect your identity and the privacy of your personal health information.

*Do not give your medicine to friends. Doctors prescribe medicines based on your specific symptoms and medical history. Something that works for you could be dangerous for someone else.

* When in doubt about proper disposal, ask your pharmacist.

Bernstein says the same disposal methods for prescription drugs could apply to over-the-counter drugs as well.

For additional information go to :


Food Safety/Handling


Lead screening

Click here to take a quiz to find out if your kids need to have a lead screening test.  For additional information, click here.

Lead is a highly toxic substance which can cause a wide range of health problems. Both adults and children can suffer from the effects of lead poisoning, but childhood lead poisoning is much more frequent. Over the many years since we have known about the hazards of lead, tens of millions of children have suffered its health effects. Even today there are still at minimum more than four hundred thousand children under the age of six who have too much lead in their blood. 


Mold is a naturally occurring substance in our environment. Mold in a home or other building can be bad, because of the respiratory illness it can cause in some people. Mold must have water in order to grow inside a building.

If you have mold in your home or another building, you must address the water problem, such as a leaky pipe or flooded basement, in order to solve your mold problem. The above website has directions on how to safely clean up mold.

More questions?