Wichtiger Hinweis

Diese Webseite wurde automatisch übersetzt. Möglicherweise enthält sie Fehler oder Ungenauigkeiten.

Dispose of old medication correctly

Stand: 28.05.2024

What needs to be considered when disposing of expired or redundant tablets and juices? This page provides information on the recycling of medicines. Dispose of and recycle your medicines correctly and make your contribution to environmental and climate protection.

Under no circumstances should you dispose of medicines in the toilet or waste water, not even liquid medicines!

1. "Normal" old medication

Disposal with the residual waste?

Non-hazardous old medicines can be disposed of directly in the residual waste garbage can under the following conditions,

  • if there is no doubt that they are non-hazardous old medicines (e.g. cytostatic and cytotoxic medicines are hazardous, see under 2.),
  • if the residual waste is disposed of directly in a waste incineration plant, which is the case in Erlangen,
  • if syringes are in puncture-proof packaging (e.g. taped glass jar with screw cap).

Disposal at the hazardous waste collection point or at pharmacies

Consumers can hand in their old medicines at the waste transfer station. Safe storage and incineration are guaranteed here. Many pharmacies also take back old medicines. However, pharmacies are not obliged to take them back.

2. hazardous medicines

Dispose of them separately!

Ointments containing mercury, cytotoxics and cytostatics (drugs for cancer treatment) must be handled and disposed of in a special way due to their potential risk to water and soil:

  • Such medicines do not belong in the residual waste!
  • They must be handed in at the waste transfer station.
  • In individual cases, they can be returned to a pharmacist, doctor or hospital.

How do you recognize a dangerous medicine?

  • Hazardous medicines are labeled on the carton: "Unused medicines or waste material must be disposed of in accordance with national requirements."
  • They are used to treat cancer, for example.

If in doubt, ask a pharmacist or doctor!

With or without packaging?

Old medicines and leftover medicines must generally be disposed of together with the packaging (glass vials, transparent packaging/blisters, etc.). Liquid medicines must also not be emptied down the drain.

Cardboard packaging and leaflets should be disposed of as waste paper. Inner packaging that has already been emptied is packaging waste and can also be recycled. It belongs in the yellow garbage can or yellow bag.

Consumer information

As many active pharmaceutical ingredients are highly soluble in water and are not or only partially retained in conventional sewage treatment plants, it is very important to prevent the entry of pharmaceuticals. Medicines - whether in tablet or drop form - should never be discharged into the sewage system via sinks or toilets. The correct disposal of old medicines is an important contribution to reducing the pollution of water and soil by pharmaceutical residues.

Further tips on disposal:

  • For safety reasons, medicines should be placed in the bin bags used in the household and then tightly sealed.
  • Your residual waste garbage can is emptied every two weeks, so do not throw your old medication into the garbage can just before it is emptied, as the medication will otherwise be easily accessible.

Disposal at the waste transfer station

The Erlangen waste transfer station also accepts old medicines and other harmful substances.

Information about the waste transfer station at the harbor

Pharmaceuticals in the environment

It is estimated that several thousand tons of pharmaceutical waste are produced every year. Several hundred tons of this is improperly disposed of in wastewater and thus ends up in our waters and soil. This has an impact on the ecosystem and on the development of resistance to pathogens in humans. This environmental damage can be prevented by disposing of old medicines properly.

Storing medicines safely

Medicines must be stored correctly and safely, i.e. protected from light, dry and possibly cool. They do not belong in the hands of children and should be stored in such a way that unauthorized persons have no access to them.

Buy consciously instead of disposing of them unused

Choose the right pack size. Opened medicines cannot be exchanged! Before buying, find out carefully about the ingredients and side effects (package leaflet) and consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Related topics

Page, Waste, Garbage, Environment, Waste management, Bulky waste, Sustainability, Climate, Climate target, Climate awakening, Climate awakening, Waste garbage can, Waste calendar, Waste guide, ReCup, Bulky waste collection, Dispose of old CD, CD, Yellow bag, Green garbage can, bottle bank, Glass container

Garbage, waste & recycling

Much of what ends up as waste can be recycled. The prerequisite for this is consistent waste separation. You can find out everything else you need to know about waste and recycling in Erlangen on this page.

Logo of the Erlangen Waste Management Association.
Page, Special purpose association for waste management, Garbage, Waste, Recycling, Waste, Pollutant collection points, Hazardous waste, Electrical appliances, Electrical appliance, Waste transfer station, Waste disposal, Garbage, Scrap, Landfills, Recycling centers, Recycling center, Commercial waste, Commercial waste, Tires, Car tires, Old tires

Waste transfer station at the port

The waste transfer station at the port belongs to the ZVA (Zweckverband Abfallwirtschaft Erlangen/Erlangen-Höchstadt). The special-purpose association under public law collects all waste for recycling/disposal as well as special waste, such as electrical appliances.

A freshly sprouted plant
Page, Climate, Environment, Climate change, Climate emergency, 1,5°C, Climate target, Climate awakening, Climate awakening, Sustainability, Energy, Energy transition, Climate budget, Climate promotion, Balcony power station, Photovoltaics

Climate & environmental heroes

Information and news about the environment, climate and sustainability in Erlangen.

Climate awakening, Climate, Environment, Sustainability, Climate resolution, Climate change, Climate target, Climate emergency, Departure, Research, Climate awakening, Climate protection

Climate awakening

With Climate Awakening, Erlangen is on its way to climate neutrality. Find out which measures are to be implemented and what you can do personally here.

Circular Economy and Waste Consulting Department


Schuhstraße 40
91052 Erlangen


jetzt geschlossen
Montag: 09:00 - 15:00 Uhr
Dienstag: 09:00 - 15:00 Uhr
Mittwoch: 09:00 - 15:00 Uhr
Donnerstag: 09:00 - 15:00 Uhr
Freitag: 09:00 - 12:00 Uhr