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Medical Waste

How to Dispose of Medications, Sharps & Other Medical Items Safely

How Can York County Residents Manage Medical Waste?

Residents can bring some medications to the York County Resource Recovery Center (YCRRC). Follow the guidance on this page for medication, sharps, and other medical waste disposal. 

Medical waste generated at nonresidential facilities — hospitals, doctor’s offices, etc. — is not accepted at the YCRRC. It is managed at licensed medical waste facilities located outside of York County. Nonresidential medical waste generators can call the Authority at 717-845-1066 for more information.


“Sharps” are medical needles and lancets used for home health care. NEVER place loose sharps in a recycling bin or in the trash. This poses serious health hazards to recycling and waste facility workers.

There are two options to safely dispose of sharps.

Use a Household Medical Waste Disposal System
Mail sharps to a designated medical waste disposal facility or call for pickup. Search “household medical waste disposal near me” to find businesses that offer these services.
Use a Rigid, Lidded Container
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.

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 biohazard waste disposal directions provided to you by your medical practitioner.


Unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications in York County are best managed using one of the following options.


Use Free Medication Return Boxes
York County residents may anonymously deliver prescription and over-the-counter medications to Medication Return Boxes in nearly all York County Police Department lobbies and other locations (listed below). There is no fee, and the boxes are available year-round during lobby hours, except on holidays. Deposited medications are contained in a locked compartment accessible only by law enforcement, then destroyed at the York County Resource Recovery Center.

Drop Off Prescription Medications at the YCRRC
Make an appointment to deliver your unused prescription medications (no over-the-counter) to the York County Resource Recovery Center at no charge. Prescription medications 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 and are required to complete a brief registration form. The disposal process takes approximately 20 minutes.
Place 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. This will make it less appealing to children and pets and unrecognizable to people who intentionally go through your trash. Place the mixture in a sealed bag, can, or other container to prevent the medication from leaking. To protect your identity and personal health information, remove all identifying information on the prescription bottle.

PLEASE NOTE: Residents should remove their personal information from medication containers before disposal.

Items Accepted

  • Over-the-Counter Medications, Vitamins & Supplements
  • Pet Medications
  • Prescription Solids, Liquids, Patches, Ointments & Inhalers
  • Type II-V Controlled Substances
Items Not Accepted

  • Aerosol Cans
  • Bloody, Infectious, or Hazardous Medical Waste
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Illegal Drugs
  • Medications from Businesses or Clinics
  • Needles & Lancets


  • Non-Prescription Personal Care Products

    (Ointments, Liquids, or Lotions)

  • Thermometers
Medication Return Box Locations

Carroll Township Police Department
555 Chestnut Grove Rd

City of York Police Department
50 W King St

Fairview Township Police Department
599 Lewisberry Rd
New Cumberland

Hanover Borough Police Department
44 Frederick St

Hellam Township Police Department
44 Walnut Springs Rd
(This box serves residents of Hellam Township and Wrightsville Borough)

Lower Windsor Township Police Department
2425 Craley Rd

Newberry Township Police Department
1905 Old Trail Rd

North Hopewell Township Police Department
13081High Point Rd

Northeastern Regional Police Department
5570 Board Rd
Mount Wolf

Northern York County Regional Police Department
1445 E Canal Rd

Northern York County Regional Police Department Substation
6115 Thoman Dr
Spring Grove

Penn Township Police Department
20 Wayne Ave

Southern Regional Police Department
47 E High St
New Freedom

Spring Garden Township Police Department
340 Tri Hill Rd
Spring Garden Township

Springettsbury Township Police Department
1501 Mount Zion Rd

West Manchester Township Police Department
380 East Berlin Rd

West Manheim Township Municipal Office
2412 Baltimore Pike

West York Borough Police Department
1700 W Philadelphia St

Windsor Township Building
1480 Windsor Rd
Red Lion

York Area Police Department
33 Oak St

Consult the Food & Drug Administration’s Website

The FDA provides specific guidelines to ensure the safe disposal of unused medicines. For more information, click here.

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