Northwestern Press

Thursday, January 23, 2020

More than 20,000 pounds of medication collected

Thursday, November 22, 2018 by The Press in Police Log

Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin recently announced 20,294 pounds of medications have been collected since 2014 at the permanent medication collection sites in Lehigh County.

In December 2013, permanent medication collection boxes were installed at 10 police departments.

Two other departments were added later, and additional boxes have been installed at three Lehigh Valley Hospital locations.

The funds for the boxes were provided through a grant program made possible by a partnership of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, state Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

The use of the boxes by Lehigh County residents has grown dramatically since 2014, the first year statistics were kept.

At the end of that year, 1,855 pounds were collected. At the end of 2017, the year’s total was 5,682 pounds.

“This increase is very gratifying to see,” Martin said. “It shows citizens of our county are aware of the boxes and are using them regularly to dispose of unwanted medications.”

Residents may place medications in the boxes anonymously and for free.

Local police departments collect and box the drugs.

Quarterly, detectives of the Lehigh County Drug Task Force pick up the drugs from the departments and weigh them.

Then they, along the members of the Pa. National Guard, transport them to the Covanta Energy Plant in Chester, where the National Guard disposes of them safely.

Items accepted include prescription and over-the-counter medications, samples, vitamins, prescription ointments and patches, and pet medications.

Syringes, needles, sharps or other sharp objects, medications from businesses and clinics, lotions and liquids, aerosol cans, inhalers, hydrogen peroxide and thermometers are not accepted.

Collection box sites are: Slatington Police Department, 125 S. Walnut St., Slatington. Monday-Friday 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

South Whitehall Township Police Department, 4444 Walbert Ave., South Whitehall Township, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays; and

Upper Macungie Township Police Department, 37 Grim Road, Upper Macungie Township. 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays, Monday-Friday.