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Safe Disposal For Unused Or Unwanted Prescriptions

June 19, 2011

Permanent medication collection available at the Greenfield Law Enforcement Center


Greenfield residents can now safely and securely dispose of unused, expired or unwanted prescription or over the counter medications at the Greenfield Police Department.


The police department, in cooperation with the Greenfield Health Department, has installed a medicine collection unit in the lobby of the Law Enforcement Center. Citizens may deposit unwanted medication 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The unit was purchased by the Greenfield Health Department using public health grant funding.


“Having expired or unused drugs around the house is dangerous and safely disposing of them properly has been inconvenient for our residents," Greenfield Mayor Mike Neitzke said. “I’ve been urging the departments to find a way to provide this service cost effectively for some time. It's great that the Police Department and Health Department worked out a cooperative, convenient, and inexpensive solution."


Concerns about prescription and non-prescription drugs being disposed of in the home and subsequently getting into area waterways has led to restrictions on the disposal. Earlier this year, the police department hosted a one-day drug drop-off event in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration.


“Having outdated medicines, particularly opiates and pain killers, just sitting around the house is very dangerous,” Deputy Inspector Brad Wentlandt said. “We know that young people often abuse prescription pain killers found in the home.”


Wentlandt said prior to obtaining the collection unit, officers would have had to be brought in off their patrol assignment to take custody of the drugs, properly tag them and put them into storage.


Health Department Director Darren Rausch gave another reason to get rid of old medications. “For a lot of people, having outdated prescription medications in the medicine cabinet is not a good idea," he said. "Similar names and labels could lead to someone taking the wrong medicine by mistake and result in serious complications.”


The collection station will accept: prescriptions; over the counter medication; vitamins; pet medications; ointments; lotions; and liquid medicine in leak-proof containers.

It will not accept needles or sharp objects; medical devices; infectious waste; aerosols; inhalers; or hydrogen peroxide.

Rausch said residents with needles or sharps can dispose of them through a separate health department program. For information call 414-329-5275.


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