All Points Medical Waste Blog

Expired Vitamins and Supplements: Are They Medical Waste?

How to Safely Dispose of Them

To many, taking a variety of vitamins or dietary supplements on a daily basis is part of the normal routine. But what happens when they reach their expiration date? Can you just throw them in the regular trash? Expired vitamins and dietary supplements can be considered medical waste and because of that, you must take the proper steps for safe disposal. Here’s a quick guide on why they should not just be thrown into the household garbage.

Expired Vitamins & Dietary Supplements Can Pose A Health Risk

Although they are considered less dangerous than expired pharmaceuticals, expired vitamins and supplements can pose a risk to the health and well-being of those that come in accidental contact or ingest them. They can endanger children, pets and wildlife, as well as the environment. Iron supplements and other similar items can be a serious health risk to children and pets who accidentally ingest them causing illness or even death.

  • Health Risks: Expired vitamins and dietary supplements may lose their potency or even become harmful over time. Ingesting them could lead to adverse reactions or unintended health consequences.
  • Environmental Danger: If disposed of improperly, vitamins and supplements can leach into and contaminate soil and water sources. The chemicals they contain can disturb ecosystems and harm wildlife.

How to Safely Dispose of Vitamins and Supplements

It’s important to stay on top of all the vitamins and supplements you are taking. Be sure to check expiration dates on a regular basis and follow these steps if disposal is necessary:

Never Flush Expired Vitamins or Supplements

Flushing expired vitamins down the toilet or pouring them down the drain can cause harmful chemicals to seep into water systems.

Look for Medication Take Back Locations

Most communities have organizations that allow for medication drop offs and this is a great option for disposing of old vitamins and supplements. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to see if they can take them or offer guidance on a location near you.

Safe Home Disposal

If there are no other options available, you may take the following steps to safely dispose of expired vitamins and supplements.

  1. Remove the vitamins and supplements from their original containers
  2. Mix them with either kitty litter, coffee grounds, dirt or any inedible substance that will make it unlikely to be appetizing to animals and children
  3. Place them in a leak-proof plastic container, such as an empty detergent bottle or milk jug
  4. Seal the container with duct tape
  5. Remove labels and any identifying personal information from the vitamin and supplement container. These containers can now be recycled.
  6. Dispose of container in household waste

Proper and safe disposal of expired vitamins and dietary supplements is crucial for protecting both the health and welfare of people, animals and the environment. Be sure to follow the above steps to ensure that your expired items are disposed of safely and responsibly.

All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated company in Stuart, Florida. We provide medical waste disposal to businesses and residents throughout the state. Give us a call today or complete the form on this page to learn more.


Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
Get Your Quick Quote
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.