SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – South Orange now has a drop-off box for unused prescription drugs. The box is located in the lobby of Police Headquarters at 201 South Orange Avenue. The box was officially dedicated on August 6th having been donated to the town by ADAPT, the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Team, a division of The Essex Prevention Coalition. The Coalition is dedicated to reducing alcohol and substance abuse. All residents are encouraged to dispose of unused drugs in the box to prevent the drugs from being abused or flushed down the toilet.
Village Trustee Walter Clarke said during the ceremonies “this is hopefully to get them off the street, but there is an environmental impact as well. People tend to flush them down the toilet, and that’s not good.” Both Clarke and Joel Torres ADAPT Coalition Manager explained that flushing prescription drugs can contaminate the water supply.
Police Chief Kyle Kroll said that one problem is that during open house events, some prospective home buyers will open medicine cabinets to see what they can find. The police often have conversations with real estate agents in the area about the risks. At the ribbon cutting, Kroll said “this is a long time coming. Now we have a place where children and addicts can’t get them. It’s a little bit more work for us, but it’s getting controlled substances off the street.”
After the drugs are removed from the box they will be stored in the police department evidence locker. They will be weighed prior to shipping them to a waste facility in Newark named Covanta Essex. Last year, according to Torres, approximately 3500 pounds of prescription drugs were incinerated from the 17 collection boxes existing in the county. Torres also mentioned that Maplewood will receive a collection box in September.
Kroll mentioned that with no publicity during the construction in the station the box became filled, and with a little more work we should have fantastic results.