LEHIGH COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin recently announced 20,294 pounds of medications have been collected since 2014 at the permanent medication collection sites located in Lehigh County.
In December 2013, permanent medication collection boxes were installed in 10 police departments.
Two other departments were added later and additional boxes have been installed at three Lehigh Valley Hospital locations.
The funds for the boxes were provided through a grant program made possible by a partnership of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
The use of the boxes by Lehigh County residents has grown dramatically since 2014, the first year statistics were kept.
At the end of that year, a total of 1,855 pounds was collected.
At the end of 2017, the year’s total was 5,682 pounds.
“This increase is very gratifying to see,” Martin said. “It shows that citizens of our county are aware of the boxes and are using them regularly to dispose of unwanted medications.”
Residents can place medications in the boxes anonymously. There is no charge.
Local police departments collect and box the drugs.
Quarterly, detectives of the Lehigh County Drug Task Force pick up the drugs from the departments and weigh them.
Then they, along with members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, transport the drugs to the Covanta Energy Plant in Chester, where the National Guard disposes of them safely.
Items accepted include prescription and over-the-counter medications, samples, vitamins, prescription ointments and patches and pet medications.
Items not accepted are syringes, needles, sharps or other sharp objects, medications from businesses and clinics, lotions and liquids, aerosol cans, inhalers, hydrogen peroxide and thermometers.
The locations of year-round collection boxes are:
•Allentown Police Department, 1005 W. Hamilton St. substation, Allentown. Open 24 hours, seven days a week. A box also is located at Lehigh Valley Hospital – 17th Street.
•Bethlehem Police Department, 10 E. Church St., Bethlehem. 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday‐through Friday, excluding holidays; visitors entering the City Hall location should advise the front desk they are there to go to the police department to discard unwanted medications. A box also is located at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Muhlenberg.
•Coopersburg Police Department, 5 N. Main St., Coopersburg, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday‐through Friday.
•Emmaus Police Department, 400 Jubilee St., Emmaus, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday‐through Friday excluding holidays.
•Salisbury Township Police Department, 3000 S. Pike Ave., Salisbury Township, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday‐through Friday. A box is also at Lehigh Valley Hospital, outside the pharmacy, Salisbury Township.