The Seventh National Take Back Day was held on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, when Lehigh County residents joined others around the country in discarding expired, unwanted and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications.
A record amount of more than a ton of medications was collected at 17 sites in Lehigh County. During the four-hour collection, 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 disposal sites and the amounts collected at each were;
Alburtis Police Department, 260 Franklin St. -- 15 pounds.
Giant Supermarket, 3015 W. Emmaus Ave., Allentown -- 227 pounds.
Catasauqua Police Department, 118 Bridge St.-- 29 pounds.
Walgreens Pharmacy, 1702 Tilghman St., Allentown -- 523 pounds.
Macungie Police Department, 21 Locust St -- 88.5 pounds.
Whitehall Township Police Department, 3731 Lehigh St. --99 pounds.
Giant supermarket (store pharmacy), 216 E. Fairmount St. and Route 309, Coopersburg -- 84.5 pounds.
South Mall (central court), 3300 Lehigh St., Salisbury Township -- 75 pounds.
Target, 912 Airport Center Road, Airport Shopping Plaza, Hanover Township -- 51.5 pounds.
Emmaus Police Department, 400 Jubilee St. -- 195 pounds
Upper Saucon Township Police Department, 5500 Camp Meeting Road, Center Valley -- 73 pounds.
Fountain Hill Police Department, 941 Long St. -- 6.5 pounds.
Upper Macungie Township Police Department, 37 Grim Road -- 113.5 pounds.
Slatington Police Department, 125 S. Walnut St. -- 99.5 pounds.
South Whitehall Township Police Department, 4444 Walbert Ave., back of Municipal Building, lower level -- 172.5 pounds.
Westgate Mall (main entrance), 2285 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem -- 156 pounds.
Lower Milford Township Police Department, 7607 Chestnut Hill Church Road, Coopersburg -- 5.6 pounds.
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.
At the sites, 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 visited all sites after the event to collect the boxes, which were taken to an incinerator to be burned.
The DEA plans to have more collections in the future, and the date, times and collection sites will be posted here.
Whenever there is a Take Back Day, residents also can find collection sites near them by calling their local police departments or visiting www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov. By clicking on the "Got Drugs" link on the left, residents can search for convenient sites.