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City honors National Drug Take Back Day year-round


Public safety — City recognizes national event, but puts focus on establishing routine medication disposal for safety and environmental reasons

For the Newberg-Dundee Police Department every day is National Drug Take Back Day. But it will still honor the national day Oct. 26 by opening the Public Safety Building lobby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for additional prescription drug disposal.

NDPD Capt. Chris Bolek said the department started participating in National Drug Take Back Day about four years ago, but installed a permanent collection bin in June 2011.by: GARY ALLEN - Collecting - Volunteers dispose of unwanted prescription medications during the first National Drug Take Back Day held in Newberg. Although the city now focuses on year-round collection, the national event will be  honored with additional disposal hours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 in the lobby of the Public Safety Building.

“Since then we’ve collected 527 pounds of unwanted over-the-counter prescriptions people don’t use,” Bolek said. “Last time we held an actual event, we only collected 64 pounds.”

He said it takes a lot of time and effort from the city and police department to put the events together, so this year there will not be a special event.

The program is designed to protect the environment from unsafe chemicals released during improper disposal and ensuring the medications do not end up in the wrong hands.

“It’s certainly a program we support. We unload the bin every two weeks. It gets full, so it gets used,” he said. “The national day certainly brings special awareness to it, but we’re trying to concentrate on a routine basis, that’s why we have the bin and commitment to clearing out every couple of weeks.”

He said this year the NDPD partnered with Yamhill County Solid Waste for a hazardous waste collection event in May and that day yielded 168 pounds of unwanted medication.

“So that’s something to do in the future as well,” Bolek said.

In general, however, he said the department does better offering the bin on a regular basis.

“I haven’t compared it with other comparable towns, but I would certainly consider it a success,” he said.

The disposal bin is located in the Public Safety Building lobby and available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information about the program and what items are acceptable to dispose, visit bit.ly/165KMKI.