Caernarvon Twp. PD is new site for pharma drop boxes

Caernarvon Township Police Chief Paul Stolz stands next to the drop box provided to the police through the Berks County Pharmaceutical Drop Box Initiative Program. The box allows the public to safely dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired medications. Photo by J. Finneran/Tri County Record.

The Caernarvon Twp. Police Department is proud to announce that it is one of 14 police departments in Berks County participating in the Berks County Pharmaceutical Drop Box Initiative Program, a program which places a special secure receptacle at the station where anyone can drop off unused, unwanted, or expired medications.

“In the last couple of years law enforcement has seen an increase in the abuse of medications,” said Caernarvon Twp. Police Chief Paul Stolz. “Having the (drop box) helps to keep medications out of the hands of people that would abuse them and also keeps the environment safe.”

In the past people would just flush their old medications down the toilet or throw them in the trash, but Stolz said that these improper disposal methods were leaving traces of the pharmaceuticals in the water and ground. Now, with the new county drop boxes, old medications are properly disposed of by professionals.

The launch of the Berks County Pharmaceutical Drop Box Initiative Program, a cooperative effort of the District Attorney’s Office, the Council on Chemical Abuse (COCA), and Berks County Solid Waste Authority, occurred on March 7 as Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams made the announcement at the Berks County AG Center. The drop box was placed at the Caernarvon Township building the next day.

According to a press release issued by the D.A.’s office, the initiation of this program provides the following benefits to the community:

• An opportunity to educate the community about the dangers these medications pose, if left unwanted in homes or improperly discarded.

• A positive connection between Berks County citizens, the township police departments, the District Attorney’s Office, the Council on Chemical Abuse and Berks County Solid Waste Authority.

• A reduction of access to addictive medications for accidental or intentional misuse by children or others in the home.

Each drop box will be securely placed and locked within a township municipal police building where it can be protected. In the case of Caernarvon Township, the drop box is located next to the entrance to the police station within the Caernarvon Twp. Municipal Building. Stolz said that this is a very safe and secure location.

The drop box, which looks like a shipping service drop box, has a slot where medications can be dropped into, and once inside the medication cannot be retrieved by anyone but the District Attorney Detectives who retrieve the discarded medications. Once they are transported and inventoried, the medications will be incinerated at the discretion of the District Attorney’s Detectives and Solid Waste Authority.

“Prior to having these boxes the DEA would host drop offs for the public at local police facilities,” Stolz said, “Now the drop offs can happen anytime when the townbship building is open – Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.”

Use of the drop box is free, anonymous, and open to residents and non-residents alike. All medication should be placed in the original containers and packaging, if possible, with any personal information blacked out (there will be a marker at the Caernarvon drop box for this purpose). It is requested that the name of the medication not be blacked out so as to help with identification and disposal.

This program is being conducted at no cost to Caernarvon Township or its residents, according to Stolz.

Accepted at the drop boxes are:

Prescription meds in a standard container or sealed bag

Over the counter drugs

Vitamins

Drug samples

Pet meds

Liquid medications in plastic, leak-proof containers.

Not accepted are:

Loose pills not in a bag or container

Syringes

Thermometers

Bloody or infectious waste

Medication from businesses

Hydrogen peroxide and cleaning agents

Aerosol cans and inhalers

Other area police departments participating in the drop box program include:

• Amity Police Department, 2004 Weavertown Road, Douglassville

• Bern Twp. Police Department, 1069 Old Bernville Rd., Bern Twp.

• Birdsboro Police Department, 200 East Main Street, Birdsboro

• Brecknock Police Department, 889 Alleghenyville Road, Mohnton

• Central Berks Regional P.D., 2147 Perkiomen Ave., Mt. Penn

• Berks County Detectives, Berks Co. AG Center, 1238 Welfare Rd., Leesport

• Exeter Twp. Police Department, 4975 DeMoss Rd., Exeter Twp.

• Fleetwood Police Department 110 West Arch St., Fleetwood

• Kutztown Police Department, 45 Railroad St., Kutztown

• Muhlenberg Police Department, 5401 Leesport Ave., Muhlenberg Twp.

• Sinking Spring Police Department, 3940 Penn Ave., Sinking Spring

• Spring Twp. Police Department, 2800 Shillington Rd., Sinking Spring

• Western Berks Regional P.D., 100 N. Reber Street, Wernersville

The Caernarvon Twp. Police Department is located at 3307 Main St., Morgantown, PA 19543.