The Eighth National Take Back Day will be held on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. when Lehigh County residents join others around the country in discarding expired, unwanted and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications.
During the last event, which was held on Oct. 26, 2013, a record amount of more than a ton of medications was collected at 17 sites in Lehigh County. Residents disposed of 2,014 pounds of medications at sites that included police departments, grocery stores, pharmacies and malls.
Since the Take Back Days started in fall 2010, 6,840 pounds, or nearly 3 1/2 tons, of medications have been collected in Lehigh County.
The following disposal sites for the April event are listed below. More may be added in the future. To find all sites, residents can visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov. Search for a convenient site by clicking on the "Got Drugs" link on the left of that website.
Emmaus Police Department, 400 Jubilee St.
Slatington Police Department, 125 S. Walnut St.
South Mall (Central Court), 3300 Lehigh St., Salisbury Township Police will be collecting medications
Lower Milford Township Police Department, 7607 Chestnut Hill Church Road, Coopersburg
Whitehall Township Police Department, 3731 Lehigh St.
Westgate Mall, Main Entrance, 2285 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem Police will be collecting medications
Giant supermarket (store pharmacy), 216 E. Fairmount St. and Route 309, Coopersburg Police will collect medications
South Whitehall Township Police Department, 4444 Walbert Ave., back of Municipal Buidling, lower level
Catasauqua Police Department, 118 Bridge St.
Upper Saucon Township Police Department, 5500 Camp Meeting Road, Center Valley
Alburtis Police Department, 260 Franklin St.
Macungie Police Department, 21 Locust St.
Giant supermarket, 3015 W. Emmaus Ave., Allentown Police will be collecting medications
Walgreens Pharmacy, 1702 Tilghman St., Allentown Police will be colleciting medications
Fountain Hill Police Department, 941 Long St.
Pennsylvania State Police will collect medications at the following locations:
Bethlehem Barracks, 2930 Airport Road, Hanover Township
Belfast Station, 654 Bangor Road, Nazareth
Dublin Station, 3218 Rickert Road, Perkasie
Fogelsville Station, 8320 Schantz Road, Upper Macungie Township
Trevose Station, 3501 Neshaminy Boulevard, Bensalem
In addition, 12 police departments in Lehigh County have permanent medication collection boxes that are available throughout the year. To see the locations, dates and times the boxes are available, please visit the "Of Interest" section of the District Attorney's Office main page on the Lehigh County website, www.lehighcounty.org. During the first quarter of 2014, about 303.5 pounds of medications were collected at the police departments.
At the sixth National Take Back Day on April 27, 2013, residents discarded almost 1,558 pounds of medications. The total amount of medications collected in Pennsylvania during that event was a staggering 38,606 pounds.
The event, which was started in 2010, was coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice 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.
During past collections, 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 visits all sites after the Take Back events to collect the boxes, which are taken to an incinerator to be burned.