Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120
BROCKTON – As National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day approaches, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz is encouraging residents to safely recycle their expired and unwanted medications at drop box locations in police stations around the county.
Sponsored by the U.S. Justice Department Drug Enforcement Administration, the day is organized to encourage citizens to properly dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications. In 2013, DA Cruz and Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald announced the local Plymouth County Drug Take Back Program. Partnered with Covanta Energy’s Rx4Safety Program, the program placed drop boxes in police stations around Plymouth County.
Residents are asked to dispose of their unwanted or expired medications in the boxes, which are under 24-hour surveillance. Police inventory and log the contents of the disposal box and the drugs are transported to the SEMASS Resource Recovery Facility in West Wareham, where they are incinerated. The facility generates steam for electricity production. Ash is processed to recover metal for recycling while all the gases are collected, filtered and cleaned before being released safely into the atmosphere.
“All too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands,” DA Cruz said. “Taking the time to dispose of unused and expired medications could eliminate the risk of drugs being stolen or misused. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a reminder that we all play a part in helping to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.”
According to the U.S. Justice Department Drug Enforcement Administration
Diversion Control Division, 985,392 pounds were collected across the United States last National Take Back Day on October 24, 2020. Of that total, the DEA estimated that 40,285 pounds were collected in Massachusetts.
Drug return boxes are currently located at all police stations in Plymouth County except Plympton, where residents can utilize the Carver Police Department box. Additionally, campus police stations at Bridgewater State University, Massasoit Community College and Stonehill all have drug return boxes. All drops are completely anonymous.
Medications accepted are pills, capsules, patches, prescription medications and ointments and medicines in leak-proof, unbreakable containers. Over-the-counter medications, vitamins and pets medicines are also accepted.