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Drop Boxes Keep Drugs Out of Wrong Hands

Two permanent Project Medicine Drop locations established for Essex County.

Area residents looking for a way to safely dispose of old medications no longer have to wait for semi-annual drop-off days at local police stations.

Project Medicine Drop, an initiative of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, expanded to West Essex this month with a new drop-off site established in North Caldwell.

Just inside the entrance to the North Caldwell Police Department at 136 Gould Ave., a white metal box similiar to a mailbox has been placed for the public to dispose of unwanted and expired prescription drugs. Drop-offs can be made question-free 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The box is under 24-hour camera surveillance and is locked and bolted to the ground, according to Chief Mark Deuer.

"They wanted in Essex to get one suburban and one urban town," Deuer said, adding that he volunteer his agency to participate in the initiative. A second Project Medicine Drop is located across the county at the Belleville Police Station.

Every two weeks, participating police departments are required to empty the boxes and transport the drugs to designated locations where they will be destroyed. 

The goal of the initiative is two-fold.

According to the Division of Consumer Affairs, "This opportunity prevents unused medications from falling into the hands of those who might abuse them, and it keeps them from being flushed into the water supply."

There are now 27 Project Medicine Drop locations in every county in New Jersey (see attached PDF). An additional seven sites are scheduled to be added in early 2013.

For more information, visit www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/meddrop.

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