Local News

Story published: 12-03-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Town Hall drug box is successful

By Meghan McCoy
Staff Writer

Jonesborough police are calling the implementation of a drug drop box a success, based on the amount of traffic it has seen since its installation this summer.

More than 200 pounds of medications have been collected since the drug drop box was placed in Town Hall at the beginning of July, according to Jonesborough Police Maj. Natalie Hilton.

“It’s been very successful,” she said.

Hilton said she began looking into options to dispose over-the-counter and prescription drugs after she was asked by several people in the community to collect them at times other than their annual drug drives in April and October.

“Johnson City was getting rid of their small drop boxes,” she said. “They told us we could have their old ones. It works out great for us to get the ones they had.”

A small drug disposal box was placed inside the front door at Town Hall, providing individuals with access to drop off their old over- the-counter or prescription medications 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Police ask that no loose pills be dropped into the box, but rather left in their containers. Needles are also accepted, as long as they are capped in a container.

“People can come by at any time and drop off their medications into the bin,” Hilton said.

The drop box is important because it stops people from dumping their medications down the toilet, which then goes into the groundwater.

“It is safer for residents not to have the medications in their house if they are not going to use them,” Hilton said.

The disposal of medicines also prevents accidental overdoses and keeps them out of the hands of little children, she added.

“What you don’t need, bring it to the Jonesborough, Johnson City drop boxes,” she said.

The box is emptied daily by Hilton and stored in a secure location until it goes directly into an incinerator and burned at Eastman Chemical Co.

“Whenever we start getting enough we take it to Eastman and use their facility to dispose of them,” she said of the medications. “We would rather get it out of the community and dispose of it properly than leaving it out there.”

The Jonesborough Police Department will continue to participate in the two drug drives in April and October.

“People do not even have to get out of their cars,” she said. “They drive through the fire bay at the Jonesborough Fire Department, hand us what they want to get rid of and keep going.”