Medical Waste

How to Manage Residential Medical Waste:

Needles and Syringes:  Residents using disposable needles and syringes should place all parts in an enclosed container (such as an empty detergent bottle), replace the bottle cap, tape it shut, label it “sharps” and place it in your regular garbage. Disposable needles and syringes are not recyclable.  Do not place needles, syringes or a container of needles and syringes in your recycling bin.

Radioactive Medical Waste:   If you are undergoing or recently completed a medical procedure involving the use of radioactive isotopes, and you are disposing of personal care items that may contain body fluids, please follow the directions provided to you by your medical practitioner in order to manage those materials.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications can be managed in these ways:  

  • Place 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 it 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.
  • Dispose of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications for FREE at Medication Return Boxes.  York County residents may anonymously deliver unused prescription and over-the-counter medications to secure Medication Return Boxes located in Police Department lobbies included in the list below.  Residents interested in disposing of medication at a take-back box location should remove their personal information from containers before disposal.  ONLY RESIDENTIAL medications are accepted.  Accepted items include: type ll-V controlled substances, prescriptions, prescription solid or liquid medications, prescription patches, prescription ointments, inhalers, over-the-counter medication, vitamins, samples and medications for pets.  Not accepted: illegal drugs, thermometers, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, personal care products in the form of non-prescription ointments, liquids or lotions, medications from businesses or clinics, needles (sharps), bloody or infectious waste and hazardous waste.  There is NO FEE and the boxes are available year ‘round during lobby hours as listed, except on holidays.

Follow any specific disposal instructions on the prescription drug labeling or patient information that accompanies the medicine. Do not flush medicines down the sink or toilet unless this information specifically instructs you to do so.  Unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can be safely processed at the Resource Recovery Center.  Processing medication in a waste-to-energy facility reduces it to an inert ash and helps produce alternative energy.  The RRC is equipped with state of the art combustion technology and air emission controls making it York County’s best waste management tool for destruction of unwanted prescription or over-the-counter medication.  The facility’s operator, Covanta York Renewable Energy, also supports this program.

Carroll Township Police Department, 555 Chestnut Grove Road, Dillsburg, PA.  Open Monday through Friday, 8:30AM to 4:30PM

City of York Police Department, 50 West King Street, York, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 6AM to 10:30PM.

Fairview Township Police Department, 599 Lewisberry Road,  New Cumberland, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM.

Hanover Borough Police Department, 44 Frederick Street, Hanover, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM.

Hellam Township Police Department, 44 Walnut Springs Road, York, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM. This box serves residents of Hellam Township and Wrightsville Borough.

Lower Windsor Township Police Department, 2425 Craley Road, Wrightsville, PA . Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM.

Newberry Township Police Department, 1905 Old Trail Road, Etters, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM.

North Hopewell Township Police Department, 13081 High Point Road, Felton, PA. Open Monday through Thursday from 7:30AM to 3:00PM.

Northeastern Regional Police Department, 5570 Board Road, Mount Wolf, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 7:30AM to 4PM.

Northern York County Regional Police Department, 1445 East Canal Road, Dover, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM.

Penn Township Police Department, 20 Wayne Avenue, Hanover, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM.

Southern Regional Police Department, 47 E. High Street, New Freedom, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from8AM to 4PM.

Southwestern Regional Police Department, 6115 Thoman Drive, Spring Grove, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM.

Spring Garden Township Police Department, 340 Tri Hill Road in Spring Garden Township. Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM.

Springettsbury Township Police Department, 1501 Mount Zion Road, York, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM.

West Manchester Township Police Department, 380 East Berlin Road, York, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 4:30PM.

West York Borough Police Department, 1381 W. Poplar Street, York, PA.  Open Monday through Friday, 9AM to 4:30PM

York Area Police Department, 33 Oak Street, York, PA.  Open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM.

The Medication Return Box partnership program between the Authority and participating York County police departments, provides a secure disposal option for unwanted medications from residential sources at no cost to the public.  The secure medication take-back box, purchased by the Authority from MedReturn, works like a mailbox: once medications are deposited, they cannot be retrieved and are contained in a locked compartment accessible only by law enforcement.  The Authority has invited all York County police departments to participate and is seeking to establish medication take-back boxes in police departments across the county.  The Authority will purchase a box for each interested police department and provide free destruction of medications at the York County RRC.

  • Make an appointment to deliver your unused prescription (no over-the-counter) medications to the RRC for FREE.  York County residents may opt to deliver their unused prescription medications directly to the RRC if they do not wish to place them in their regular garbage or deliver them to a Medication Return Box.  There is NO FEE to dispose of unused prescription medications, but they must come from a single household (medications collected from multiple households cannot be accepted) and only prescription (no over-the-counter) medications are accepted in this program.  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.  Please visit their web page for recommendations on how to keep people, animals and the environment safe:


Non-Residential Medical Waste:

Medical Waste generated at non-residential facilities is not accepted at the York County Resource Recovery Center.  The RRC is not permitted to accept medical waste unless it is resulting from medical supplies used in the home, which are considered to be household waste.  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.