At today’s Berks County Commissioners meeting, Pennsylvania American Water announced plans to partner again with the Berks County Solid Waste Authority to host a free medication collection and disposal event. The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 27, at the Exeter Township Municipal Building to enable county residents to dispose of unwanted and expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs in an environmentally safe manner.
At the April 2012 event, the Berks County Solid Waste Authority collected a record-setting 2,324 pounds of pharmaceutical products, including controlled and non-controlled substances, from approximately 930 county residents. The program keeps unused medications from ending up in local landfills and waterways, plus disposing of them in an environmentally safe manner prevents drugs from falling into the wrong hands.
“This is the fourth year that we have partnered with the Solid Water Authority to host a free pharmaceutical collection, and the community’s response has been overwhelming,” said Terry Maenza, director of communications and external affairs for Pennsylvania American Water. “The events keep growing and raising public awareness about how properly disposing of unused drugs helps protect our water resources. Simply put, please don’t flush medicine down the toilet.”
To help cover the collection and event promotional costs, Pennsylvania American Water presented the county commissioners with a $2,500 check as event co-sponsor with the Solid Waste Authority. The event’s overall cost will be dependent on the volume of medications received, which will be documented and subsequently incinerated at licensed disposal facilities.
“The Solid Waste Authority is very happy to partner again with Pennsylvania American Water to be able to provide this valuable service to the residents of Berks County,” said Authority Executive Director Jane Meeks.
The collection will be held April 27, in the parking lot of the Exeter Township Municipal Building at 4975 DeMoss Road, Reading from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will be able to drive through a drop-off point in the parking lot and hand over their medications. Representatives from Pennsylvania American Water, Berks County Solid Waste Authority and a licensed disposal contractor, as well as the Berks County District Attorney’s office, will be on-site for the duration of the event.
In March 2013, the Berks County District Attorney’s office implemented a medication drop box program in 14 police stations throughout Berks County. These types of programs are essential in ensuring proper disposal of all types of unused medications.
Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.2 million people. Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 6,700 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 30 states, as well as parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.