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Allegheny

People can dispose of unwanted medication at drop-off boxes in Allegheny County

Bob Bauder
| Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 5:24 p.m.
Scott Township residents can drop off unused medication at this box outside the township Police Department at Green Tree and Lindsay roads.
Scott Township residents can drop off unused medication at this box outside the township Police Department at Green Tree and Lindsay roads.

Scott police said they've received an overwhelming response from residents with unwanted medications since they installed a drug drop-off receptacle outside their station in March.

“We've emptied it three times so far,” said Sgt. Jeff Skees. “It's been full to the point where we couldn't even open the door, so that tells you the amount that we get.”

The Pennsylvania District Attorney's Association has administered the program since 2013 and has distributed 400 boxes across the state, including 39 in Allegheny County, said Richard Long, the executive director.

Boxes cost about $700 each and have been funded through a federal grant and donations from organizations such as Pennsylvania American Water.

“On average per quarter each box across the state collects 39 pounds of discarded medication,” Long said. “You're talking over the course of a year at least 30 tons statewide just in this program. There's no questions asked. This is for the public to come up and safely discard their medication.”

Penn American has sponsored 17 boxes statewide, including the one in Scott, spokesman Gary Lobaugh said.

“For us it's a no-brainer to work with partners like the DA's association and the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office to not only keep drugs off the street, but out of the water supply,” he said.

Pennsylvania National Guard members pick up the drugs, which are incinerated by the state Attorney General's Office.

Pennsylvania residents can find drug box locations online through the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs , including those in Allegheny County .

“There's not one house in Allegheny County that doesn't have something in the medicine cabinet that expired back in 2013, a bottle of NyQuil or something like that,” said Mike Manko, spokesman for District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. “That's the idea, to get this stuff off the street, out of the house and incinerated so it doesn't end up on the street.”

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-765-2312, bbauder@tribweb.com or on Twitter @bobbauder.

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