The drop boxes are mailbox-style disposal bins that are placed inside law enforcement agencies to be used by residents during normal business hours. Law enforcement is responsible for monitoring the boxes and properly disposing of the medications. Each location is contracted with a regional incinerator facility, approved by the Ohio EPA, to dispose of the collected medications in the most environmentally friendly manner. The drug drop box sites can only accept prescription and over-the-counter pills. Fluids, such as cough syrup, and inhalers cannot be disposed of in a drop box. In addition, needles are not to be deposited in the drug drop boxes.
Unused medications present a potential to harm our families, especially to children and the elderly. Studies also show that trace amounts of pharmaceuticals can also threaten water quality. Holly Utrata-Halcomb, Program Manager for the Regional Storm Water Collaborative explained, “Unwanted prescription drugs can find their way into our water supply when people flush them or pour them down the drain. Wastewater treatment plants aren’t designed to remove these types of chemicals. While not at levels that affect human health, the US EPA has begun to detect some of these medication in streams and drinking water across the nation.”
The idea of providing a safe and proper way for citizens to dispose of their unwanted medications has immensely gained popularity over the past few years. For more information on the Drug Drop Box Program, The Regional Storm Water Collaborative, or The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, contact John Nelson at (513)-772-7645 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.