Each year an estimated 4 billion prescriptions are filled in the US, and while there’s
plenty of other plastics being used by Americans, the problem with standard orange prescription bottles is they can’t be recycled by the curbside services that stop by each week because of the type of plastic they’re made from.
Despite that though, while limited resin code acceptance for curbside recyclers might mean you can’t throw bottles in your own recycling materials, it doesn’t mean your prescription pill bottles still can’t be recycled.
The Problem With Personally Recycling Pill Bottles
While 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—otherwise known by the resin code #5.
Unlike #1 and #2 plastics, curbside recyclers don’t accept #5, meaning 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.
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 and potentially lead to things like identity theft, making it 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 who can help you to dispose of your prescription pill bottles on an environmentally-friendly note.
For free quotes from local pill bottle recycling services in your area, fill out the form to your right or give us a call at (888) 755-6370.