Collection Box Started by Mt. Lebanon Coalition Takes 1,200 Pounds of Unused Drugs Off the Streets
Since being installed at the Mt. Lebanon Public Safety Center just over one year ago, the Medication Collection Box has received more than 1,200 pounds of unwanted and expired drugs for proper and environmentally safe disposal. The collection box is the result of the S.A.F.E. Lebo Task Force, a partnership involving the Mt. Lebanon Police Department, Medical Rescue Team South Authority, Mt. Lebanon City Council of PTAs, St. Clair Hospital, Mt. Lebanon School District and Pennsylvania American Water.
The program enables local residents to anonymously and safely dispose of unused prescription drugs and over-the counter medications. In addition to installing the drop box in September 2013, the S.A.F.E. Lebo Task Force has hosted an educational forum in which a panel of experts provided an overview of various aspects of addiction and developed a public education campaign bringing awareness about addiction issues to the community through posters, a televised public service announcement and a municipal website.
“By having a drug depository available to the public on a 24-7 basis, residents don’t have to wait to safely and properly turn in expired and unneeded medications. The collection box is already a success in reducing the volume of drugs ending up in landfills, the water supply or in hands to which they don’t belong,” said Mt. Lebanon Police Chief Coleman McDonough.
Pennsylvania American Water Manager of Field Operations BJ McFaddin said, “As we expected, the collection box is proving to be a valuable asset to the community, the environment and our water sources for generations to come. It is essential that we keep our source waters clean to ensure high-quality water at the tap. This program helps to reinforce the message: ‘Do not flush medicines down the toilet! Proper disposal means they won’t eventually end up in our waterways.’”
Law enforcement officials empty the boxes and turn the drugs over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office for proper disposal. The Medication Collection Box is located at the Mt. Lebanon Public Safety Center at 555 Washington Road inside the rear parking lot entrance which is open 24/7 for residents’ convenience.
Pennsylvania American Water purchased this box as part of their statewide effort to make similar collection boxes available to customers in its service areas in order to help keep pharmaceuticals out of the commonwealth’s waterways. To find the closest drop off box, customers can visit ddap.pa.gov to access a menu that lists locations throughout Pennsylvania.
S.A.F.E (Stop Addiction for Everyone) Lebo task force is a coalition of Pittsburgh-area organizations dedicated to: educating people in Mt. Lebanon and nearby communities about the dangers of prescription drug abuse; sharing resources for help, and providing a year-round opportunity to safely dispose of un-used or expired prescription medications. More information is available at mtlebanon.org/safe
Pennsylvania American Water is the largest water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.1 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 approximately 6,600 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 40 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.
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