NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y., June 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- New York State Senator Rob Ortt, in a joint effort with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, Niagara County Division of Environmental/Solid Waste, the City of North Tonawanda Police Department and Covanta Niagara, announced the addition of three new drop-box locations for residents to dispose of their unwanted and expired drugs. Local Energy-from-Waste operator Covanta, donated the three boxes and will safely destroy and convert the collected medications into clean energy at no cost to Niagara County.
"As co-chair of the Senate's Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, I've heard from those struggling with substance abuse and their families and understand the unique challenges that come with addiction," said Senator Ortt (R,C,I – North Tonawanda). "Prescription drug abuse is cutting across all demographics to affect people of all ages, ethnicities, geographic regions, and social classes. Prevention is critically important. These prescription drop-off boxes will keep unwanted drugs out of the wrong hands, and help to curb this growing epidemic."
"The public response to our permanent drop-boxes has been tremendous. Since we started with our first three locations in 2014 we have collected over 8,000-lbs of unwanted medications. I'm confident with our expansion into the City of North Tonawanda, Village of Middleport and Town of Niagara that we will continue to provide safe management options for the residents of Niagara County," stated Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour.
When flushed down the drain, medications can enter waterways, contaminating drinking water and the environment. In addition, unused medication found in household medicine cabinets is a major contributor to the growing rate of prescription drug abuse. Covanta's Rx4Safety program, in collaboration with the efforts of local municipalities, provides communities with a safe way to dispose of unwanted drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, at no cost to taxpayers.
"Niagara County is watching the resurgence of drug abuse closely, and with our present national opioid crisis, it is clear that eliminating prescription narcotics from circulation must be a priority," said Niagara County Legislature Majority Leader Randy R. Bradt, (R – North Tonawanda). "This provides a secure, legal disposal alternative for prescription drugs that keeps them out of the waste stream and off the streets."
"Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic. At Covanta Niagara, we are proud to provide Niagara County residents with a confidential and environmentally- sound way to dispose of unwanted prescription medications, avoiding potential abuse and keeping them from contaminating our water supplies," said Kevin O'Neil, Covanta Niagara business manager. "The addition of these three new drop-box locations will further protect the community and the environment from improper medication disposal."
The County's Pharmaceutical Collection program provides residents the opportunity to drop-off old prescription drugs, expired medications and other common pharmaceuticals at already existing drop-box locations or on designated collection days. The drugs are collected from the secure box and are in turn safely destroyed at Covanta Niagara. In addition to the three drop-boxes Niagara County already has, the three new drop-boxes will be sited at the North Tonawanda Police Department, Village of Middleport Police Department and Town of Niagara Police Department.
For more information, please visit www.rethinkyourwaste.com.
About Covanta Niagara
Covanta Niagara owns and operates the Niagara Resource Recovery Facility, a pioneer in the modern Energy-from-Waste industry, which began converting municipal solid waste into clean, renewable energy in 1980. Today, the facility uses up to 2,250 tons of waste per day as fuel to generate low-cost steam for neighboring industrial customers and electricity for the Western New York region. By providing reliable, low-cost steam to local manufacturers, Covanta Niagara allows industrial customers to remain globally cost-competitive and helps retain jobs in the region. In recognition of safety and operational excellence, the facility has been designated an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Facility and achieved the International Standardization Organization's (ISO) 14001 environmental registration.
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