Each year an estimated 4 billion prescriptions are filled in the US. While there’s plenty of other plastics being used by Americans, the problem with standard orange prescription bottles is you can’t recycle pill bottles by the curbside services that stop by each week. This is due to the type of plastic they’re made from.
Despite that though, limited resin code acceptance for curbside recyclers might mean you can’t throw bottles in your own recycling materials. However, it doesn’t mean your prescription pill bottles still can’t be recycled. You can recycle pill bottles safely through one of our service providers.
The Problem With Personally Recycling Pill Bottles
Over-the-counter bottles are typically made with either #1 (polyethylene) or #2 (high-density polyethylene) plastics. The orange bottles typically used for prescriptions are made of polypropylene. These are otherwise known by the resin code #5.
Unlike #1 and #2 plastics, curbside recyclers don’t accept #5. If you do try to put your prescription bottles in with your other recyclables, there’s a good chance these non-biodegradable bottles will be filtered out and sent to a landfill.
How to Recycle Pill Bottles
Although curbside recyclers won’t accept your pill bottles when they’re mixed in with your other recyclables, there are recycling facilities that recycle pill bottles specifically. Similar to paper shreds that also can’t be sorted out because of their size, pill bottles can instead be taken to a local recycling center that accepts #5 plastics to be exclusively disposed.
Medical Waste Pros also offers a mail-back option. With the help of Ship N Shred, you can safely recycle all of your empty pill bottles. All you have to do is fill a box with your empty pill bottles, go to Ship N Shred’s website to follow the ordering instructions, and schedule a pickup from FedEx. Your pill bottles will be picked up and taken to a secure facility for safe disposal and recycling. With this service, you can track the process from start to finish. Either option is compliant with state and federal privacy laws and HIPAA.
Be Sure to Keep Security in Mind
Before you take your pill bottles in to a recycling facility, be sure to remove the prescription labels from your bottles. These contain sensitive PHI that, like any other type of sensitive personal information, can be misused. This potentially leads to things like identity theft. It’s essential you literally remove any possibility for your information to be stolen or lost before recycling your pill bottles.
Find Local Facilities to Recycle Pill Bottles Today
Medical Waste Pros partners with countless local pill bottle recycling centers. They can help you to dispose of your prescription pill bottles on an environmentally-friendly note. Contact us for free quotes from local pill bottle recycling services. Fill out the form or give us a call at (888) 755-6370 to start today.