Community Disposal Day and Drug Drop Off at Lancaster Campus
The environmental health and safety are the big benefactors, thanks to the second Community Disposal Day and Drug Drop Off at Lancaster Campus. Anyone who cleared out a medicine cabinet or a desk likely feels positive about the effort as well.
About 175 vehicles – a few more than participated in the April event - drove through the various recycling stations in the Lancaster Campus north parking lot on Saturday, with residents disposing of outdated and unused prescription medication, recycling all kinds of batteries, finding new homes for used medical equipment (wheelchairs and walkers), recycling computer equipment and cell phones, and shredding confidential documents.
“This is an opportunity to get potentially dangerous drugs out of your home and to safely dispose of them," said Lancaster Chief of Police David Bailey. "Please help us keep these drugs from falling into the wrong hands through theft or burglary.” Bailey stopped by mid-morning to check on the event’s progress.
Fairfield County prosecutor David Landefeld approved the police department’s special order request and offered additional funding for the officers on site. Members of the department’s auxiliary directed traffic and sorted medication. Law Enforcement Technology students from the Lancaster Campus also observed the event and assisted in directing traffic.
Goodwill Industries joined the collection to gather computer equipment and cell phones. For Jake Chema, who coordinates recycling efforts in Ohio and West Virginia for the organization, it was a good first effort.
“It was definitely worth our time," Chema said. "We collected 6,000-7,000 pounds of equipment.”
Community Disposal Day and Drug Drop Off brought together many agencies and organizations concerned about the quality of life in Fairfield County, according to Lancaster Campus spokesperson and event organizer Jennifer LaRue. For example, Fairfield Medical Center and the Ohio Hospital Association partnered to distribute special bags in which residents collected their medications to be recycled.
“Offering a one-stop approach added further value to the drug collection effort, and the partner agencies and businesses have been so cooperative, have really gotten into the spirit of the event,” LaRue said.
The Fairfield County Prosecutor’s Office, Fairfield Federal Savings and Loan, Fairfield Medical Center, Goodwill Industries, Interim Healthcare, The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action and Recycling, Lancaster Police Department, “Prevention Works” for a Drug-free Fairfield County, Toxco Inc., and WLOH radio partnered with Ohio University Lancaster Campus for the event.
Final collection data will be shared and discussed at a debriefing meeting next week, according to LaRue.
PHOTOS: Top - Medications collected during Community Disposal Day and Drug Drop Off. Photo by Jennifer LaRue