For Immediate Release Media Contact: Collin Nash or Sid Nathan
April 16, 2010 (516) 869 7794
TONH Pharmaceutical Take-back Event Nets Record-Breaking Collection
New Hyde Park, NY—Supervisor Jon Kaiman and the Town Board announced that North Hempstead’s pharmaceutical disposal program recently conducted its most successful collection event to date, surpassing the volume of prescription and over-the-counter medicines netted during each of the previous three events.
The year-old pharmaceutical disposal event reaped an estimated 560 pounds of unwanted or expired medications. It was held simultaneously with the Saturday April 10 Stop Throwing Out Pollutants (S.T.O.P.) program at Michael J. Tully Park in New Hyde Park.
“The growing success of our pharmaceutical take-back program not only underscores the critical need for such an effort, but speaks volumes about the troublesome quantity of potentially dangerous drugs that might otherwise be left in households or improperly discarded, posing a threat to the safety of our environment and our children,” Supervisor Jon Kaiman said. “We are proud to be at the forefront of this vital program in Nassau County.”
Since its inception in June last year, the Pharmaceutical Disposal Program has collected 2000 pounds of medications from households, thereby diverting it from our solid waste stream, our waterways and out of harms way of increasing numbers of teens reported to be abusing prescription drugs.
“These programs are an invaluable community resource,” Said Charles Berman, North Hempstead’s Receiver of Taxes. “Proper disposal of unwanted, unused and expired pharmaceuticals save taxpayer dollars by averting costly environmental cleanups and keeping them out of the hands of our most valued treasures: our children.”
North Hempstead was the first municipality in Nassau County to host a drug disposal event.
Studies by the Partnership for a Drug Free America indicated that “1 in 5 teenagers abused a prescription pain medication; 1 in10 report abusing prescription stimulants, and 1 in 10 abused cough medicines.
In addition to being a public safety concern, the improper disposal of unused, unwanted and expired pharmaceuticals has emerged as one of the most complex and troubling environmental issues of the day.
In the past, flushing expired and leftover prescription and over-the-counter medications down the toilet or washing them down sinks was considered the norm for disposing of these drugs. Routinely, they were also dumped in the trash that goes to the landfill.
Now, studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency have identified small quantities of more than 100 pharmaceuticals and personal-care products in samples of the nation's drinking water. Among the drugs detected are antibiotics, steroids, hormones and antidepressants.
TONH Receiver Charles Berman (right) thanking George Wisoff (left) of Manhasset Hills at the recent TONH e-waste and pharmaceutical collection event.