Authorities say the driver lost control and flipped the trash hauler between the Lincoln Tunnel and Pleasant Avenue, just before 5:30 a.m.
When police examined the trash that spilled from the tractor trailer onto the roadway, they noticed medical waste mixed in the debris. Specialized crews had to be brought in to pick up the medical waste.
It took more than two hours to upright the tractor-trailer, and even longer to clean up the trash. The cause of the accident is under investigation.
The crash caused unexpectedly long delays for the morning commute.
Outbound New Jersey Transit buses, heading from the Port Authority Bus Terminal, were permitted to pass through the north side of the tunnel. They were delayed up to an hour during the morning commute.
NJ Transit trains are honoring bus passes to and from New York Penn Station.
Meanwhile, the outbound Lincoln Tunnel was closed to cars and trucks throughout the morning, finally reopening just before noon.