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Disposal of Medicines

Prescription and nonprescription drugs that are not properly disposed of easily make their way into our water supply. Pills that are flushed down the toilet or liquid medicines that are dumped down the drain can kill helpful bacteria that live in septic tanks. These drugs also can pass through sewage treatment facilities without any chemical change, and show up in clean water supplies. If they are thrown out with the trash, drugs can make their way into the groundwater.

Progress is being made for safe drug disposal through pharmacies around the state. Many pharmacies in McLean County have joined in on the prescription drug disposal program as well as the Normal Police Department. These locations accept drop-offs of all medicine, including controlled substances/narcotics (strong painkillers like morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone) and other prescriptions. Controlled substances, needles*, syringes*, and thermometers will not be accepted at the six McLean county pharmacies listed below.

Patients can bring their drugs to the locations during normal business hours, and are asked to black out their name, but leave the name of the drug visible. Medications are incinerated as part of the ecological and safe disposal protocol. The incinerated medications can create energy to power homes and businesses.

The following McLean County locations are accepting prescription drugs for proper disposal:

  • Eastland Pharmacy in OSF Eastland Medical Plaza I, 1505 Eastland Dr, Bloomington, 309-664-0505, Monday-Friday 8:00am-6:00pm, Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm
  • Chenoa Pharmacy, 209 S Green St, Chenoa, 815-945-4211, Monday-Friday 9:00am-6:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Walgreens, 1525 N Veterans Parkway, Bloomington, 309-661-8613, 24 hours.  Note: drug disposal at this Walgreens location only

Drop-off Locations for Controlled Substances/Narcotics and other Prescriptions:

  • Normal Police Department, 100 E. Phoenix Ave, Normal, 309-454-9535, anytime
  • Illinois State University Student Services Building, 201 N. University St, Normal, 309-438-8713, M-S 6:00am-11:00pm
  • McLean County Sherriff’s Department, 104 W Front St, Bloomington, 309-888-5030

*Needles and sharps can be disposed of with regular household garbage if proper precautions are taken. Needles and sharps should be placed in a medical sharps container purchased from a pharmacy or health care provider or a puncture proof container. Use heavy duty tape to secure the cap to the container and write “Do Not Recycle” before disposal. NEVER place the container in the recycle bin.