The sixth National Take Back Day drug collection event on April 27, 2013, resulted in a record amount of unwanted, expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications being collected at 17 sites in Lehigh County.
Residents discarded almost 1,558 pounds of medications, bringing the total amount collected in Lehigh County during the last six events to 4,826 pounds.
The total amount of medications collected in Pennsylvania was 38,606 pounds.
The event, which was started in 2010, was coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office, Lehigh County police departments, Pennsylvania State Police and the Allentown Health Bureau.
"I want to thank the public for making this event a success and helping to protect your families and your environment by appropriately disposing of medications," said Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin. "I also want to thank all the police departments and employees of the Allentown Health Bureau who manned the sites, the media for helping us to publicize this worthwhile event, and members of crime watch and neighborhood watch groups who circulated information about the event in their communities.
"Without all of them, and the cooperation of other participants, such as Giant food stores, Walgreens, the Westgate Mall, South Mall, Target and municipalities, this event would not have been such a success," Martin added.
At the sites, residents discarded boxes and bags of medications -- everything from chemotherapy drugs for seriously ill family members to medications for children's ear infections and pet medications. Police reported that some people had medications in their homes for years and were grateful for the opportunity to dispose of it in a safe way.
The DEA visited all sites after the event to collect the boxes, which were taken to an incinerator to be burned.
The DEA plans to have more collections in the future, and the date, times and collection sites will be posted here.
Whenever there is a Take Back Day, residents also can find collection sites near them by calling their local police departments or visiting www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov. By clicking on the "Got Drugs" link on the left, residents can search for convenient sites.
Here are the totals for each site during the last collection:
ALBURTIS Police Department, 260 Franklin St., 4.5 pounds;
GIANT supermarket, 3015 W. Emmaus Ave., Allentown (Allentown Police, Allentown Health Bureau), 135 pounds;
CATASAUQUA Police Department, 118 Bridge St., 34 pounds;
WALGREENS Pharmacy, 1702 Tilghman St., Allentown (Allentown Police, Allentown Health Bureau), 163 pounds;
MACUNGIE Police Department, 21 Locust St., 32 pounds;
WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP Police Department, 3731 Lehigh St., 126.5 pounds;
GIANT supermarket (store pharmacy), 216 E. Fairmont St., Route 9, Coopersburg (Coopersburg Police Department), 62 pounds;
SOUTH MALL (Central Court), 3300 Lehigh St., (Salisbury Township Police), 55 pounds;
TARGET, 912 Airport Center Road, Airport Shopping Plaza, Hanover Township, (Pennsylvania State Police, Bethlehem and Dublin), 77 pounds;
EMMAUS Police Department, 400 Jubilee St., 262 pounds;
UPPER SAUCON TOWNSHIP Police Department, 5500 Camp Meeting Road, Center Valley, 44.5 pounds;
FOUNTAIN HILL Police Department, 941 Long St., 19 pounds;
UPPER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP Police Department, 37 Grim Road, 159 pounds;
SLATINGTON Police Department, 125 S. Walnut St., 59 pounds;
SOUTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP Police Department, 4444 Walbert Ave., back of Municipal Building, lower level, 218 pounds;.
WESTGATE MALL, Main Entrance, 2285 Schoenersville Road (Bethlehem Police), 92 pounds; and
LOWER MILFORD TOWNSHIP Police Department, 7607 Chestnut Hill Church Road, Coopersburg, 15 pounds.