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Any prescription or over-the-counter pills, liquids, ointments, and lotions as well as pet medications can be brought to a participating police department, the Household Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF) on specific days, or can be disposed with household garbage according to the proper protocol laid out by the New York State Department of Conservation.

MyOldMeds, a public awareness campaign designed to educate the public about safe storage, use, and disposal of medication, also has a variety of resources, including an informative video.

Improper disposal
Never dispose of medications by flushing them down the drain or toilet. Doing so can taint local waterways and cause harm to those ecosystems. It is important to only flush toilet paper and human waste down the toilet. This helpful video names ten items that should never be flushed down the toilet, including medications.

Collection days at the H-MRF
Residents can reserve a time slot for appointments up to two weeks in advance. To make or cancel an appointment, call the Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425. The Recycling HelpLine is available seven days a week from 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. If you wish to schedule your appointment using the online reservation calendar, please note that medications will only be accepted on dates specifically denoted as "Medication Take-Back Day" for your zip code.

When delivering medications to the H-MRF, keep all items in the original container or, if unavailable, put them in a sealable plastic bag. Liquid medications should be in their containers in sealable plastic bags. County staff will be on hand to accept expired and unused medications for disposal.

Sharps (needles and syringes) are not accepted at the H-MRF. Bring medical sharps to a hospital or nursing home that accepts them.

Collection programs at municipal police departments
The following police departments have locked and secure collection boxes where medications can be dropped off 24 hours a day, with two exceptions:

  • Cortlandt* is available only between 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Westchester County Office** is available only between 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.

It is strongly recommended that you call the police department first to confirm program details.

 
Police Department Address Phone
Ardsley 507 Ashford Avenue 693-1700
Bedford 307 Bedford Road 241-3111
Briarcliff Manor 1111 Pleasantville Road 941-2130
Bronxville 200 Pondfield Road 337-0500
Buchanan 236 Tate Avenue 739-6776
Cortlandt* 1 Heady Street 864-7700
Croton 1 Van Wyck Street 271-5177
Dobbs Ferry 112 Main Street 693-5500
Eastchester 40 Mill Road 961-3464
Elmsford 15 South Stone Avenue 592-8383
Greenburgh 188 Tarrytown Road 989-1700
Harrison 650 North Street 967-5111
Hastings 7 Maple Avenue 478-2344
Larchmont 120 Larchmont Avenue 934-1000
Lewisboro 20 North Salem Road 763-8903
Mamaroneck (Town) 740 West Boston Post Road 381-6100
Mount Pleasant 1 Town Hall Plaza 769-1941
Mount Vernon 2 Roosevelt Square North 665-2500
New Castle 200 South Greeley Avenue (Chappaqua) 238-4422
North Castle 15 Bedford Road (Armonk) 273-9500
North Salem 66 June Road 669-5540
Ossining Village 88 Spring Street 941-4099
Peekskill 2 Nelson Avenue 737-8000
Pelham Manor 4 Penfield Place 738-1000
Pelham 34 Fifth Avenue 738-2000
Pleasantville 80 Wheeler Avenue 769-1500
Port Chester 350 North Main Street 939-1000
Pound Ridge 177 Westchester Avenue 764-4206
Rye Brook 938 King Street 937-1020
Rye City 21 McCullough Place 967-1234
Scarsdale 50 Tompkins Road 722-1200
Sleepy Hollow 28 Beekman Avenue 631-0800
Somers 98 Primrose Street 232-9622
Tarrytown One Depot Plaza 631-5544
Tuckahoe 65 Main Street 961-4800
Westchester County Office** 148 Martine Avenue (White Plains) 964-7700
White Plains 77 South Lexington Avenue 422-6400
Yorktown 2281 Crompond Road 962-4141

Safe Medication Disposal brochure
For more information, refer to the Safe Medication Disposal brochure or call the Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425.

Medical sharps and needles

In addition to medications, many people are unsure how to properly dispose of used hypodermic needles or "sharps." Currently no state laws prohibit the disposal of hypodermic needles and other household sharps in the trash. Most municipalities allow it providing the sharps are safely packaged. Preferably household sharps should be dropped off at the nearest hospital or nursing home. The Sharps Smarts brochure contains instructions on how to properly dispose sharps in the garbage and also provides a list of drop-off sites, hours of operation and contact numbers.

Program history
Recognizing the health and environmental hazards associated with improper disposal of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, Westchester County launched a "medication take-back" program to ensure the proper disposal of unused and expired medications. This program was the first of its kind in New York State. The first "medication take-back" events took place in March and April of 2008. In just four days, 273 households dropped off more than 700 pounds of pills, liquids, gels, and ointments. It was an overwhelming early success. The program continues to be available at the Household Material Recovery Facility, by appointment only.