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Prescription drug collection nets half ton

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Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, 6:09 p.m.

A recent effort to remove unwanted prescription drugs from the streets resulted in the collection of more than one-half ton of unwanted medications at 15 collection sites in Westmoreland County.

Ellen C. Keefe, executive director of Westmoreland Cleanways, said 1,161 pounds of unwanted medications — an average of 77.5 pounds at each site — were collected on Oct. 26 during the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative.

Keefe said this year's collection is a dramatic increase over the 165 pounds collected in 2010 at five Westmoreland sites.

Keefe said police departments in Allegheny Township, Arnold, Greensburg, Latrobe, Lower Burrell, Mt. Pleasant, North Huntingdon and Rostraver participated. The Westmoreland County Sheriff's Department assisted.

By comparison, the Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration reported that:

• 3,943 pounds of medications were collected at 49 sites in Allegheny County;

• 40.5 pounds at one site in Fayette County;

• 240 pounds at one site in Indiana County;

• 75 pounds at one site in Somerset County;

• 1,238 at 15 sites in Washington County.

Among 63 participating counties, some 38,197 pounds of medications were collected statewide, according to Justice Department figures.

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