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Help keep Sandy safe, drug-free

The police department has installed a drop box for unwanted or expired drugs


by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - POST PHOTO: JIM HART This public drug disposal box is located at the Sandy Police Department, 39850 Pleasant St. The new convenient disposal box gives local residents an opportunity for anonymous disposal of expired or unneeded drugs in a safe manner.Some people find it challenging when faced with the task of disposing of drugs — chemicals in liquid or capsule form that are expired, unneeded, unwanted or dangerous to leave around children or people with mental challenges or irresponsible judgment.

What is a person to do? Which is the best choice? Bury the drugs, flush the chemicals, send them in trash to the landfill, burn them with yard debris or throw them in the ocean on the next trip to the beach?

None of the above.

Officers of the Sandy Police Department do not recommend any of those options. They want to help local residents keep the community clean and free of toxic and deadly chemicals and drugs.

A drug disposal box has been installed at the police station, thanks partly to help from Sandy Stone & Brick, 37490 Ruben Lane.

The box is secure inside the police station, and can be used anonymously if desired. No appointment is necessary. It is inside the main front door on the lower level, near the elevator.

People may come to the police department during normal business hours (weekdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m.) to dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs and medications — anything that would harm the ground water supply or pose a danger to people or animals at home.

Among the types of drugs acceptable in this depository are prescription medications, vitamins, samples, pain patches, pet medications, prescription ointments and creams, inhalers and cough syrups.

The police evidence technician requests that any liquids in containers be sealed in a separate plastic bag.

“This is an effort to help keep our community and water supply safe,” said a spokesperson for the police department.

The disposal box is not intended for needles or syringes. They should be disposed of in an approved sharps container.

All drugs received by the police department are taken to a commercial incinerator for destruction at a high temperature, so it is not necessary to remove labels or personal identification from bottles before using the drop box.

Although the box came to Sandy prelabeled and includes instructions not to dispose of inhalers or liquids, the department’s evidence technician says to ignore that statement.

“We do still take inhalers and liquids,” the technician said, “but please seal liquids in plastic bags.”

All medications that are gathered in the box will be incinerated along with other drugs that the police department collects during its investigations.

For citizens who have a larger supply of unwanted drugs to return, an appointment can be made with the department’s evidence technician, who will receive them. Call 503-489-2191 to schedule an appointment.

For more information, call 503-489-2191 or 503-668-5566.