News

Solid Waste Authority safely destroys medications

The York County Solid Waste Authority (YCSWA) disposed of 3.62 tons of unused and expired residential medication collected in 2020 via the Authority’s Secure Medication Take-back Box Program, community drug take-back events and illegal drugs delivered by law enforcement for destruction. The Authority announced this in a news release, which we've shared here.

medication take back

Currently, 18 York County police department locations partner with the YCSWA to host medication take-back boxes in their police department lobbies. The Secure Medication Take-back Box Program provides a secure disposal option for unwanted medications from residential sources at no cost to the public or to law enforcement agencies. All York County police departments have been invited to participate. Illegal drugs captured by law enforcement are also destroyed at no cost.

The secure medication take-back boxes, purchased by YCSWA from MedReturn, work like a mailbox: once medications are deposited, they cannot be retrieved and are contained in a locked compartment accessible only by law enforcement. The heavy-duty green metal box bolts to the floor and wall. Medications collected in the take-back box program are delivered by law enforcement to the Authority’s waste-to-energy facility for safe and complete destruction. Law enforcement also maintains the box and secures medications that are received until they can be destroyed.

Northern York County Regional Police Department (NYCRPD) was the first police department in York County to host a MedReturn take-back box. Says Chief David Lash: “This program enhances our ongoing efforts to eliminate drug abuse by providing a safe means of disposing of drugs and presenting an opportunity to educate the general public about the potential for abuse of medications”.

The Authority’s waste-to-energy facility 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 medications and illegal drugs seized in law enforcement actions. The facility’s operator, Covanta York Renewable Energy, also supports this method that ensures complete destruction of medications and illegal drugs at the York County Resource Recovery Center.

Notes Dave Vollero, Authority Executive Director, “Using waste-to-energy technology to destroy medications and illegal drugs keeps them out of landfills and wastewater treatment systems. We have long advised residents to make medications unrecognizable and unpalatable and place them out with their regular garbage for delivery to our facility. For those residents not comfortable with placing medication out at the curb, the take-back box program offers a convenient and secure option that achieves the same results: safe management, complete destruction and production of alternative energy.”

Residents interested in dropping medication at a take-back box location should remove their personal information from containers before depositing them in boxes. ONLY RESIDENTIAL prescription medications are accepted. Pet medications are also accepted. Pharmacies, hospitals and other commercial sources of medications are not eligible to participate. Syringes and other “sharps” are not accepted in this program. The public may deposit unwanted medications anonymously in the take-back boxes during lobby hours as listed below, except on holidays.

  • Carroll Township Police Department, 555 Chestnut Grove Road, Dillsburg, PA. Open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • City of York Police Department, 50 West King Street, York, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • Fairview Township Police Department, 599 Lewisberry Road, New Cumberland, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Hanover Borough Police Department, 44 Frederick Street, Hanover, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Hellam Township Police Department, 44 Walnut Springs Road, York, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Lower Windsor Township Police Department, 2425 Craley Rd, Wrightsville, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Newberry Township Police Department, 1905 Old Trail Road, Etters, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • North Hopewell Township Police Department, 13081High Point Road, Felton, PA. Open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Northeastern Regional Police Department, 5570 Board Road, Mount Wolf, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Northern York County Regional Police Department, 1445 East Canal Road, Dover, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Northern York County Regional Police Department Substation, 6115 Thoman Drive, Spring Grove, PA. Open Monday and Wednesday 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 8:00 a.m. to noon, closed Friday.
  • Penn Township Police Department, 20 Wayne Avenue, Hanover, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Southern Regional Police Department, 47 E. High Street, New Freedom, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Spring Garden Township Police Department, 340 Tri Hill Road in Spring Garden Township. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Springettsbury Township Police Department, 1501 Mount Zion Road, York, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • West Manchester Township Police Department, 380 East Berlin Road, York, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • West York Borough Police Department, 1700 West Philadelphia Street, York, PA. Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • York Area Police Department, 33 Oak Street, York, PA. Open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about the Authority’s secure medication take-back box program, visit the Authority’s website. The Authority facilitates responsible solid waste management through an integrated system that emphasizes waste reduction, reuse, recycling and resource recovery. The Authority is the owner of the York County Resource Recovery Center in Manchester Township. The Resource Recovery Center manages York County’s household and commercial waste, as well as some manufacturing waste.

 

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