How to Dispose of Inhalers Safely

If you’ve noticed that your inhaler is becoming less effective, it’s essential that you dispose of it responsibly.

Inhaling ineffective medication can cause health hazards. Here are some tips on how to safely dispose of your Inhalers.

So, how do you dispose of inhalers safely? Inhaling drugs can be dangerous.

This is especially true for young children and the elderly. People with health problems, such as asthma and COPD, are especially at risk.

That’s because it’s possible to accidentally spray the drug from inhaler into the air and inhale it. To avoid this, it’s important to dispose of inhalers safely.

According to Health Canada, inhalers should be discarded when the drug inside is no longer effective. You should avoid throwing inhalers in the trash or flushing them down the toilet.

Rather, you should carefully rinse and dry the inhalers and wrap them in a plastic bag before disposing them in the trash.

Why Can’t You Dispose Of Used Inhalers in Trash?

It Is Harmful to the Environment.

Throwing away outdated inhalers is dangerous for the environment.

When these inhalers are disposed of, they may contaminate the soil and water. Inhalation devices may contain valuable resources such as tungsten, cobalt, magnesium and lithium.

These metals can be purified and reused. Throwing them away will deprive us of the opportunity to recover them.

This would pollute the environment and cost millions of dollars in clean-up costs in the future.

The Inhaler Might Blow Up.

When an old inhaler is discarded, it can explode when exposed to heat or pressure due to gas build-up inside the canister.

This may happen if there is a crack in the canister or if the cap has been left open for too long after use.

The Inhaler Is Not Quite Empty.

Think twice before throwing your used inhalers in the garbage. You may believe that your inhaler has been entirely utilized, yet there is still medicine within it.

How to Dispose of Inhalers Safely

Dropping Them off At Your Neighborhood Pharmacy

You may always return outdated medications to your pharmacist for safe disposal.

All major pharmacies feature medical waste disposal kiosks in their stores.

Medical Take-Back Programs

Because inhalers are considered medically hazardous waste, it is essential as Canadians to dispose of them safely.

Inhalers have allowed them to live a healthy life since ages. Although there is an advancement in the technology, an inhaler is still a safer option in terms of medication as compared to any other form of medication.

Now, when we discuss the types of inhalers in the market, they may be of two types: spray and metered dose inhalers.

Although there is some overlap between these two types, they are fundamentally different in terms of functioning: Spray-Type Inhalers Metered Dose Inhalers A spray-type of medication is delivered directly into the lungs through the mouth or nose.

For Inhaler Disposal, Contact Your Local Police Station.

In addition to fire stations, you may contact local police agencies for inhaler disposal. Many police stations have medical waste bins in their building where you can drop off your unused inhalers.

Make sure to call the police department first and ask them about the procedure for disposing inhalers.

You might also want to ask them about the possible landfill sites that accept medical waste in your area.

If you need to dispose of medications on a regular basis, these local police stations might have special spots where you can drop off unwanted medications.

For Inhaler Disposal, Contact Your Local Fire Department.

All you have to do is call your local fire department and ask for their assistance regarding the proper disposal of old medications like expired or unused prescription pills and asthma nebulizer supplies.

They will also explain their procedure on how to deal with these types of medicines and documents what should be done with them properly to avoid harm to the environment.

Can Inhalers Be Recycled at Home?

Inhalers, regrettably, cannot be recycled at home due to the presence of dangerous ingredients such as propellants and metal components.

When the time comes to get rid of your expired or unused medicines, the safest and most practical thing to do is to place them in a plastic container or a zip-lock bag and throw the container or bag into the regular trash.

This isn’t only the right thing to do for the environment but also for your own safety as the old medicines that are thrown in the trash may pose danger to you or other people who accidentally come in contact with them.

Inhaler recycling is not advisable as it poses risks to the well-being of other people and the environment as a whole.

Also Read: Why Do Air Purifiers Smell Bad?


When disposing of a used or expired inhaler, read to follow the instructions given by the manufacturer on the medicine label for proper disposal.

Improper inhaler disposal might pose a number of health and environmental hazards to you and your family’s health.