Det. Jeffrey McCarrick and Cpl. Susan Parkes stand next to the 11 bags or 347 lbs of medications lawfully disposed of by local residents during "Operation Take Back New Jersey". Credit: Sparta Township Police Department
Throughout this month, northern and central New Jersey have seen law enforcement officials gather for medication disposal efforts. These are events where residents bring unused, unwanted and expired over-the-counter and prescription medications for safe disposal. In Sparta, however, that effort has been ongoing since last December, according to a police department statement.
Last December, the Sparta Township Police Department officially joined “Project Medicine Drop,” said Sgt. John-Paul Beebe. Under the program, a lockable, metal container that resemble a mailbox sits in the police department's section of the Municipal Building so citizens can dispose of their unused or excess medications safely, securely and lawfully.
Sparta Deputy Mayor, Sparta Municipal Alliance Chair Molly Whilesmith and Cpl. Susan Parkes are overseeing the project. Citizens have been using the drop box regularly, Beebe said, and significant amounts of unused medications have been safely disposed of this year.
Over the past several months during “Operation Take Back New Jersey,” Sparta Police collected 347 pounds of unused, unwanted and expired medications via the drop box. The medications gathered have been turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency for destruction and disposal.
The Medicine Drop Box is located in the lobby of the Sparta Township Police Department and is accessible 24 hours per day. The police ask residents to remember not to place syringes or liquids into the drop box.
Hopatcong residents: The borough features a 24/7/365 medication drop box as well. It can be found at police headquarters at Borough Hall, 111 River Styx Road.