Dan Palmer, Director of the Lawrence/Scioto Solid Waste Management District, is a veteran of pharmaceutical collection events.
“When I first came on, we were the first ones to start this,” Palmer said. “I started it, and our first event was at the HHW (Household Hazardous Waste event at Dow Chemical). Subsequently to that, they came out with the national day. So we have been doing it with the sheriffs in both counties, Jeff Lawless (Lawrence County) and Marty Donini (Scioto County), since then.”
Known by most people as Drug Take Back Day, the event is scheduled for April 7, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Scioto County Jail, 1025 16th St., in Portsmouth.
“As you can see from last year, we have grown every year,” Palmer said. “I think people are becoming more aware of what is the right thing to do.”
Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis said last year’s drug collection was well attended.
“When I was there it was a non-stop flow of cars,” Davis said. “It’s well run. It’s well maintained. This gets the medicines out of our community.” Davis said practices have changed as people involved became better educated.
“We did it when I was younger and you flushed them down the toilet,” Davis said. “They don’t like that because that gets in our water system.”
Studies conducted by the U.S. EPA have shown that pharmaceuticals are present in our nation’s water bodies. Further research suggest that certain drugs may cause ecological harm.
Palmer said people should bring prescription medications, any across-the-counter vitamins – any meds they want to get rid of.
“Also we are taking their sharps and needles that people have when they’re diabetic,” Palmer said. “We want to give thanks to SOMC (Southern Ohio Medical Center), they’re providing the containers for those and also the proper disposal.”
Palmer thanked Donini for allowing them to use the jail property for the collection.
“He always assigns one of his captains, because we have to have either the sheriff or his representative,” Palmer said.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.