Authority Launches Free Medication Take-back Box Program; Eleven Police Departments Participating
The York County Solid Waste Authority (Authority) has launched a medication take-back box program to help provide a secure disposal option for unwanted medications from residential sources at no cost to the public. The Authority invited all York County police departments to participate and is seeking to establish medication take-back boxes in police departments across the county. Currently, 11 police departments are participating. The Authority purchases a box for each interested police department and provides free destruction of medications at the York County Resource Recovery Center, the Authority’s waste-to-energy facility located in Manchester Township.
The following police departments are now accepting medications in the secure boxes located in their police department lobbies:
Northern York County Regional Police Department, Fairview Township Police Department, West York Borough Police Department, York Area Regional Police Department, Southwestern Regional Police Department, Carroll Township Police Department, Spring Garden Police Department, Southern Regional Police Department, Springettsbury Township Police Department,Northeastern Regional Police Department and Penn Township Police Department.
The secure medication take-back box, purchased from MedReturn, works like a mailbox: once medications are deposited, they cannot be retrieved and are contained in a locked compartment accessible only by law enforcement. The green metal box weighs nearly 200 pounds and bolts to the floor and wall.
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 unwanted or expired prescription or over-the-counter medication. The facility’s operator, Covanta York Renewable Energy, also supports this program. Notes Dave Vollero, Authority Executive Director, “Using waste-to-energy technology to manage medications keeps them out of landfills and waste water 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-bake box program will offer a convenient and secure option that achieves the same results: safe management, complete destruction and the production of alternative energy.”
Residents interested in dropping medication at the take-back box at NYCRPD should remove their personal information from containers before depositing them in boxes. ONLY RESIDENTIAL prescription or over-the-counter medications are accepted. Pharmacies, hospitals and other commercial sources of medications are not eligible to participate. Syringes and other “sharps” are not accepted in this program. As the program expands to other locations, the Authority will announce them to the public and will post the locations on its web site.