By Mary O’KEEFE
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Dave Silversparre of the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station wanted to remind community members there are three receptacles at the station for disposal of out-of-date or unneeded prescription drugs, unwanted hypodermic needles and illicit drugs.
The mailbox-type receptacles that were installed last year are part of the sheriff’s “Drug Drop-Off” program. From Jan. 1, 2010 1,168.92 pounds of prescription drugs were surrendered through the program at the CV Station.
As of October an outside firm was contacted to dispose of the hypodermic needle receptacle.
“Until then our [staff] was taking care of the disposal,” Silversparre said.
However the amount had grown so large it was no longer feasible for staff to deal with.
From Jan. 1 to Oct. 13, 2010, 60,605 needles were dropped into the receptacle. The outside company that was hired tallies the drops by pounds. From Oct. to the end of the year 64 pounds of needles were dropped.
It concerns Silversparre that the receptacles are being used by commercial vendors that do not want to go to the expense of disposing of medication or needles properly.
“This program is designated for community members for their unwanted prescription or hypodermic needles. It is not set up for commercial use for their out dated prescription medicine,” Silversparre said.
The program was designed to give community members a safe way to get rid of unwanted and potentially harmful drugs. It is also better for the environment because many times those unwanted drugs are flushed into the sewer system or the needles that end up in landfills.
There are no cameras and drop offs are anonymous.