Bethlehem Press

Saturday, February 16, 2019

LEHIGH COUNTY-Martin announces over 20,000 pounds of medication collected in Lehigh County

Monday, August 6, 2018 by The Press in Local News

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

In December 2013, permanent medication collection boxes were installed in 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, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Pennsylvania 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, a total of 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 that citizens of our county are aware of the boxes and are using them regularly to dispose of unwanted medications.”

Residents can place medications in the boxes anonymously. There is no charge.

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 Pennsylvania National Guard, transport them to the Covanta Energy Plant in Chester, where the National Guard disposes of them safely.

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

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

The 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. Monday‐- Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. excluding holidays; and

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