Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste

Not sure what to do with your pharmaceuticals or sharps? Visit your local pharmacy to return medication/prescription drugs and sharps, FREE OF CHARGE. You can find the pharmacy nearest to you by visiting: www.healthsteward.ca or by downloading the Recyclepedia App on your mobile devices.

The Health Products Stewardship Association operates programs locally through participating pharmacies to collect medication/prescription drugs and medical sharps. The Ontario Medication Returns Program (OMRP) and the Ontario Sharps Collection Program  (OSCP) are both administered by this organization. Both programs are offered across the province and are free to the public.

Sharps BucketSharps and medications should never be disposed of in the garbage or poured down sewers and drains. Medications that are not disposed of properly can lead to the disruption of feeding and breeding habits of wildlife and cause life-threatening mutations. Recent studies have shown that over 75% of fish and amphibian species had been lost in freshwater habitats where drug residues are commonly found.


Sharps which are not properly disposed of can cause a threat to human health as well as animals. Sharps can puncture the skin which greatly increases the risk of viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22% of injuries involving sharps occur due to improper disposal. This included injuries from workplace incidents to accidental exposure to sharps left in public areas.  

NOTE: Pharmacies will not accept sharps that are not in an approved sharps container. You can pick up an approved sharps container at your local pharmacy, free of charge.

*Facts from the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety