Berkeley County Sheriff's Dept. Says Residents Are Properly Disposing of their Pharmeceutical Waste

Aug 20, 2014

Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Courthouses and police departments across the state have been collecting prescription drugs for a few years now. The idea is to cut down on waste in the streams and keep unused prescriptions out of the hands of drug abusers. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department says collections have almost doubled in the past 5 months.

Since the Berkley County Sheriff’s Department moved last March to its new office in Martinsburg, Chief Gary Harmison has seen an increase in residents properly disposing of their pharmaceutical waste.

Harmison says that before their move, the Sheriff’s Department only needed to empty the drop box once every four months. He has now seen the result double having to empty the drop box twice every three to four months. Harmison suspects the proximity to several residential areas helped increase the rate. The Department’s previous location could only be reached by most via car.

Chief Harmison says the  Department is excited to offer the residents of the area an opportunity to properly dispose of their medical waste and help protect the environment, as septic and sewage treatment do not break down most drugs, and can greatly affect groundwater.

This effort is intended to bring local focus to the issue of increasing improper disposal of pharmaceutical waste and drug abuse.