Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams announced the launch of the Berks County Pharmaceutical Drop Box Initiative Program for Berks County on March 7. Bern Township and Leesport are two of the many participating police agencies.
The program was developed as a cooperative effort between the District Attorney’s Office, the Council of Chemical Abuse (COCA), and Berks County Solid Waste Authority.
“As Bern Township police chief, this is an important service to our citizens. We have already had a number of medication drop-offs, so this program has been well-received,” said Chief Wesley R. Waugh.
Currently, Berks County offers unwanted pharmaceutical collection twice a year for incineration.
This program is free of charge with no ID required. The boxes, securely placed and located within the township municipal police buildings, resemble United States Postal Service boxes with an open door to collect the medications while preventing removal once dropped.
There is a separate locked entry for the District Attorney Detectives to retrieve the inventory to be incinerated.
All medications should be placed in original containers and packaging with personal information blacked out.
Accepted medications include: prescription medications in standard container or sealed bag, over the counter medications, vitamins, drug samples, pet medications, and liquid medications in plastic, leak proof containers.
Not accepted include: loose pills not in containers or bag, syringes, thermometers, blood or infectious waste, medication from businesses, hydrogen peroxide and cleaning agents, and aerosol cans and inhalers.
According to a press release from the Berks County District Attorney’s Office, the initiation of this program provides numerous benefits to the community. These benefits include:
• An opportunity to educate the community about the dangers these medications pose, if left unwanted in home 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 decrease of water contamination due to pharmaceutical medications being flushed down the drains in our homes, or contained in our landfills.
• A reduction of access to addictive medications for accidental or intentional misuse by children or others in the home.
The locations for the Bern Township and Leesport drop-off boxes are:
• Bern Twp. Police Department, 1069 Old Bernville Rd., Bern Twp.
• Berks Country Detective, Berks Co. AG Center, 1238 Welfare Rd., Leesport