• Petitioned Scott Haggerty

This petition was delivered to:

Alameda County Supervisor, District 1
Scott Haggerty
Alameda County Supervisor, District 2
Richard Valle
Alameda County Supervisor, District 3
Wilma Chan
Alameda County Supervisor, District 5
Keith Carson

Pass the Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance

    1. California Product Stewardship Council
    2. Petition by

      California Product Stewardship Council

      Sacramento, CA

July 2012


On July 24, 2012, the Alameda County Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance was adopted with a unanimous 5-0 vote by the Board of Supervisors!

Alameda Pharma Take-Back Law Passed!

Thanks in part to your support and advocacy, on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, the Alameda County Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance was adopted by unanimous vote of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors!  The video of the hearing is now posted on the County’s website – agenda item #69.


This is the first ordinance in the country to require producers of pharmaceuticals to share in the responsibility and costs to safely dispose of unused medications from the public. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry has offered no solution except to promote disposal of drugs in the trash, which poses public safety and environmental health hazards.

To help Alameda through the implementation process and to stay informed, you can “like” the Alameda County Safe Meds Facebook page and follow AlCoSafeMeds via Twitter for timely updates.  On the facebook page you will find press, radio spots and video footage from national outlets including USA Today, Huffington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and much more. You can also view the most recent letter of support from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and a letter from Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack about the importance of partnership to solve the drug abuse epidemic. 


Why the Public Demands Safe Medication Disposal:

Every year, nearly 15,000 people in the United States die from overdoses involving prescription painkillers—more than those who die from heroin and cocaine combined. 
In 2010, 55% of pharmaceutical abusers relied on friends and relatives to obtain drugs. 

Improper disposal of medications is a public health and safety issue. 
Unused medications in the home allow for drug abuse by children and teens. Flushing and throwing away medications can harm the environment and the water we drink.

Alameda County’s Safe Medication Disposal Ordinance is spearheading safe drug disposal for the entire nation. Citizens deserve secure and convenient locations to dispose of their unused medications.

“Pharmaceutical companies need to stop hiding from the issue of the overwhelming amount of unused and outdated medication products, and the cost of disposal currently being carried by the consumer.  It's simply good business for them to work with their customers to promote better health.” - Pauline Von Stetten, Alameda County resident

“As it now stands pharmaceutical profits are privatized and cleanup costs are socialized. This ordinance corrects the imbalance and fairly re-assigns responsibilities.” - Kreigh Hampel, City of Burbank Public Works Department       


1. Sign the petition to pass the ordinance and have your friends, family and neighbors do the same!

2.  Like Alameda County Safe Meds on Facebook and follow @AlCoSafeMeds on Twitter to stay in the loop



“Prescription Painkiller Overdoses in the U.S.” CDC Vital Signs. Office of the Associate Director for Communications. November 2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 15 June 2012 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, NSDUH Series H-41, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 11-4658. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011. 

Video produced by volunteers of the Alameda Medication Education Disposal Safety (MEDS) Coalition


Recent signatures


    1. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Michelle Baptiste BERKELEY, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      I have a stash of half-used medicines in my garage because I haven't been able to dispose of them properly -- tried two pharmacies to no avail and haven't made it to the Center I'd have to drive to way out of my way. Pharmacies should be responsible for disposing of what they sell when it's no longer usable by the patient.

    • Susan Alcorn OAKLAND, CA
      • about 2 years ago

      We need an efficient and environmentally better means of getting rid of unwanted medications. Driving to a disposal site across town makes no sense; flushing meds down the toilet is environmentally destructive; keeping them on the shelf for children or others to discover is dangerous. The pharmaceutical companies are the logical ones to take back these unwanted, potentially dangerous, medications.

    • Chandra Johannesson DANVILLE, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      This is a very logical and rationale approach; wastewater treatment rate payers should not be footing the bill to remove these products from our waterways.

    • Bill Chew DUBLIN, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      To protect the people of the county from improperly discarded drugs.

      • over 2 years ago

      I read an article about precription drugs having been founnd in our water supply. If drugs such as estrogen from birth control pills can end up in our water supply, what's next?


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