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.
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.
|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.
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.