Special recycling day, Operation Medicine Drop Oct. 2.

  • Posted: Friday, September 27, 2013 1:18 a.m.

The Rowan County Department of Environmental Management in cooperation with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pesticide division, and our local Cooperative Extension Service will host the 2013 fall “Special Waste Collection Event” and Operation Medicine Drop.

It will be Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 1102 N. Long St. Ext. in East Spencer, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Rowan County staff and volunteers will be ready to collect special waste materials at no charge for Rowan County citizens.

Citizens are encouraged to participate and bring special waste materials for proper disposal including:

• Unused paint (up to 10 gallons/household)

• Pesticides in their original labeled containers

• Fertilizers in their original labeled containers

• Tanks (Fire extinguishers, oxygen, helium, Propane)

• Electronics (computer equipment, TVs, radios, almost anything with a plug)

• Cellphones

• Toner cartridges

• Rechargeable batteries (only)

• Mercury containing thermometers and thermostats

• Fluorescent bulbs

• Washers, dryers, refrigerators

• Hearing aids

• Eyeglasses

• Household cleaning products (in original containers)

• Tires (limit 5/household no rims)

• Unused or expired prescription or non-prescription medications.

Staff and volunteers will be eager to unload materials in a drive-through fashion at our recycling processing facility located at 1102 N. Long St. in East Spencer.

Rowan County Sheriff’s personnel will be on site to collect all medications.

According to the National Center for Health Statics, drug poisoning has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and is now the leading cause of death for people from the ages of 35-54 years old.

Improper medication usage has become one the fastest growing public health and safety concerns across the state. Each year, North Carolinians fill an estimated 14 prescriptions annually, totaling more than 127 million prescription drugs.

“The abuse of prescription drugs has increased exponentially in Rowan County and across the state of North Carolina. There are more deaths today from prescription drug overdoses than there were at the height of the heroin crisis in the 1970s or the crack cocaine crisis of the 1990s. The statistics are proof that two-thirds of our young people who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from their home or a friend’s home,” said Rowan County Chief Deputy David Ramsey.

In an effort to address this escalating issue, the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office will team with the Rowan County Department of Environmental Management in the sponsorship of a no questions asked, medication take back event, “Operation Medicine Drop.” During this event the Rowan County Sheriff’s office will collect expired, unused and unwanted medications for incineration. This event is free of charge to Rowan County citizens and completely confidential.

“Prescription and over-the-counter medication abuse in our homes creates significant opportunities for unintentional poisonings, illegal distribution, substance misuse or abuse, and environmental contamination. Operation Medicine Drop is a wonderful opportunity for our citizens to contribute to the solution. We hope that this biannual event encourages our citizens to properly dispose of all their unused medications,” said Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten.

Please leave medications for disposal in their original containers. You may use a permanent marker to strike through your name and address if you wish, but leave the name and dosage of the medication.

For directions or questions regarding this event, Contact Caleb Sinclair at 704-216-8606.

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