General Question

anniereborn's avatar

What can be done with old pill bottles?

Asked by anniereborn (10019points) June 17th, 2014

My partner and I are on many meds. The old pill bottles pile up like crazy. Is there anything one can do with them besides just throw them away? Are they even recyclable?

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18 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Probably not due to small size and privacy issues revolving around the labels, but ask your pharmacist.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I used to keep my weed in them :P

Coloma's avatar

Not really, maybe a container for thumbtacks, flower seeds or other small items, but how many little containers can one keep around?
I’d soak them in boiling water, scrape off the labels, or use a permanent marker to black out the info. and either recycle or pitch them in the trash.
You do not want to become a hoarder of anything. Get rid of them.

Kardamom's avatar

If they’re glass or plastic, just remove the labels that give any identifying information about you and then recycle them. We have recycle bins that get picked up on the same day as our trash. Otherwise, you could take them to a glass/plastics recycle place.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Most of them are recyclable in regards to the material they are made out of. The problem with recycling is their small size. A lot of recycling places use machines to filter out small things that often get mixed in with the recyclables (rock, broken glass, etc) and the small pill bottles often fall through the filter. You can call your recycling center to ask them if they are able to handle them.

If not, you can use them around the house for a variety of things.

dxs's avatar

Stack quarters or other coins in them.

Seek's avatar

Off the top of my head:

Mix paints into custom colours without worrying that it’ll dry out and be wasted.

Put together a travel sewing kit to keep in your purse

Cut the plastic into strips, hold over a candle flame with a pair of tweezers – homemade plastic beads!

Store your bobby pins (I’m always losing mine)

I’m a crafter, and can always use another little bottle – for handsewing needles, small beads, buttons, those tiny pieces of broken windshield I picked up off the road because they were so pretty and glittery…

Dan_Lyons's avatar

You can use those old pill bottles to store those little pieces of bar soap which are too small to really work up a good lather.

marinelife's avatar

I recycle mine.

Coloma's avatar

@Dan_Lyons Sooo.. you’re a soap shard hoarder?
There must be a name for that?
Foamaphobia maybe? haha

AstroChuck's avatar

You can put pills in them. They’re perfect for that.

majorrich's avatar

The glass ones were great finger capo’s! Plastic ones I keep small parts and stuff like matches that need to stay dry when camping. During hunting season, I stuff nitrile gloves in them. Eventually, when you get overwhelmed, throw away the small ones and keep the bigger ones.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

@Coloma More like lackafoamaphobia!

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If I had a lot of pill bottles they’re perfect for organizing electronic components

JLeslie's avatar


I wish I could just bring them back to the pharmacy for my refills. I never asked if there is some way to do it. Maybe I will. Thing is I do my refill request on an app before I ever get to the pharmacy.

I have three drugs I regularly fill monthly. 36 “bottles” a year! Plus, OTC bottles maybe another 5 a year. That’s crazy.

Ill say it again, GQ.

AshlynM's avatar

I would just get rid of them. That’s a good way to accumulate junk you don’t need.

Stinley's avatar

Remove the labels as suggested. Offer them on ebay or freecycle.

RocketGuy's avatar

I put coins or small items (misc nails and screws) in mine. I recycle the ones I don’t have an immediate use for.

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