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(Valhalla, NY) – On October 24, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Westchester County’s Department of Environmental Facilities (DEF) will give residents the opportunity to dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications either at the Household Hazardous-Material Recovery Facility (H-MRF) in Valhalla by appointment from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., or at the Household Recycling Day event at FDR Park in Yorktown Heights with no appointment needed, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Residents must wear masks and can drive through and drop off their medications, which should be in their original containers, if possible, or placed inside sealed plastic bags. The H-MRF is located on the County’s Valhalla Campus at 15 Woods Road in Valhalla, and the HRD event is at FDR Park, located at 2957 Crompond Road in Yorktown Heights.
Safely disposing of unused or expired pills, liquid medications and ointments keeps them from being misused, and keeps people and pets safe from accidental poisoning. To protect our drinking water, rivers, streams and aquatic life, never flush medications. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year, that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from an at-home medicine cabinet.
On the last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, DEF collected 784 containers of medications totalling 74 pounds. In 2019, DEF collected and safely disposed of 12,734 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications at the H-MRF and through various events.
Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 442 tons (882,919 pounds) of unused or expired prescription drugs and vape devices at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the US Drug Enforcement Agency (USDEA), and nearly 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Since 2010, USDEA and its partners have taken in nearly 12.7 million pounds of pills and liquid medicine.
Residents who cannot make it to the DEF events on October 24 can safely dispose of their unwanted medications at many convenient locations throughout the year. DEF accepts medications on the first Tuesday of each month at the H-MRF. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit https://environment.westchestergov.com/facilities/h-mrf or contact the Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425 or 211.
The County also has installed locked and secured collection boxes at 38 police department headquarters throughout Westchester, where medications can be dropped off (most are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week). For more information, visit https://environment.westchestergov.com/residents/recycling-guidelines/medications.