How to Manage Residential Medical Waste:
Sharps – Medical needles and lancets, or “sharps,” used for home health care have special disposal instructions:
- If possible, use a household medical waste disposal system for sharps and mail them to the designated medical waste disposal facility or call for waste pick up using the enclosed instructions. An internet search such as “household medical waste disposal York PA” will show businesses that offer these services.
- If you are unable to use a household medical waste disposal system, place sharps in a rigid, lidded container (such as an empty laundry detergent bottle), secure the lid tightly, tape it shut, label the container “SHARPS – DO NOT RECYCLE” and place it in your regular garbage.
- NEVER place any sharps in a recycling bin. This poses serious health hazards to recycling facility workers.
- NEVER place loose sharps in the trash. This poses serious health hazards to waste haulers and waste facility workers.
Radioactive Medical Waste – If you are undergoing or recently completed a medical procedure involving the use of radioactivity and you are disposing of personal care items that may contain bodily fluids, please follow the directions provided to you by your medical practitioner in order to manage those materials.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications – Unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications in York County are best managed using one of the following options:
- Free Medication Return Boxes – York County residents may anonymously deliver unused prescription and over-the-counter medications to secure Medication Return Boxes located in nearly all York County Police Department lobbies. To see the list of police departments participating in the Medication Return Box Program and what is and is not accepted, click here. There is no fee and the boxes are available year ‘round during lobby hours as listed, except on holidays. Residents interested in disposing of medication in a Medication Return Box location should remove their personal information from containers before disposal.
- Place unused medications in your regular garbage – To minimize potential impacts to human health and the environment, take medication out of its original container and mix it with an undesirable substance, such as used coffee grounds or kitty litter. The medication will be less appealing to children and pets, and unrecognizable to people who may intentionally go through your trash. Place the mixture in a sealed bag, can or other container to prevent the medication from leaking. Before disposing of a prescription medicine container, destroy all identifying information to protect your identity and personal health information.
- Free prescription medication delivery at the RRC – Make an appointment to deliver your unused prescription (no over-the-counter) medications to the RRC at no charge. Prescription medications accepted must come from a single York County household (medications collected from multiple households cannot be accepted). Residents must call 717-845-1066 to make an appointment to deliver prescription medications to the RRC and are required to complete a brief registration form. At the RRC, residents will be escorted by an Authority representative to dispose of the medications. The disposal process takes approximately 20 minutes.
The Food and Drug Administration sets forth specific guidelines to ensure the safe disposal of unused medicines. For more information, click here.
How to Manage Non-residential Medical Waste:
Medical Waste generated at non-residential facilities is not accepted at the York County Resource Recovery Center. Medical waste from hospitals, doctor’s offices, etc. is managed at licensed medical waste facilities located outside of York County. Non-residential medical waste generators can contact the Authority at 717-845-1066 for more information.
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