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Letter to the Editor: Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs

Dear Editor,

Recently, Covanta Energy, the operator of Energy-from-Waste facilities in Huntington, Babylon and Islip, and the Suffolk County Police Department joined forces to educate Long Island residents about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.  Many community residents participated in The American Medicine Chest Challenge, which challenges families across the United States to take the Five Step American Medicine Chest Challenge.  This challenge asks participants to:

  • Take inventory of your prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Lock your medicine chest.
  • Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicines in your home at an American Medicine Chest Challenge disposal site.
  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed.
  • Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drugs.

Residents who still have expired and/or unwanted drugs they would like to safely dispose of can bring them to a Suffolk County Police Department drop off location, which are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week as part of the Department’s very successful “Operation Medicine Cabinet” program:

1st Precinct:  555 Route 109, West Babylon, NY  11704

2nd Precinct:  1071 Park Ave, Huntington Station, NY  11746

3rd Precinct:  1630 Fifth Ave, Bay Shore, NY  11706

4th Precinct:  1727 Vets Hwy, Hauppauge, NY  11778

5th Precinct:  125 Waverly Ave, Patchogue, NY  11772

6th Precinct:  400 Middle County Rd, Selden, NY  11784

7th Precinct:  1419 William Floyd Pkwy, Shirley, NY  11967

Needles and liquids cannot be accepted and it is requested that all medications be placed in a plastic bag prior to disposal.  Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facilities like the Huntington Resource Recovery Facility then provide safe, environmentally sound destruction that protects water resources and reduces the risk of drugs reaching unauthorized users through its Prescription for Safety Program (Rx4Safety).

The Center for Disease Control has labeled prescription drug abuse an epidemic, reporting that the death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade. Unwanted medications and prescriptions can also have an adverse effect on drinking water and the environment. When flushed down the drain, or disposed of in landfills, medications can find their way into waterways and contaminate surface waters.

This is an excellent partnership opportunity for Covanta and the Suffolk County Police Department – it is a win/win situation – and most importantly, together we can get these unused, unwanted, expired and potentially dangerous prescription drugs out of the medicine cabinet and into a safe, secure disposal system.

We encourage County residents to take, store, and dispose of prescription drugs in a responsible manner.



Jeff George


Business Manager

Covanta Huntington, LP

Covanta Babylon, Inc.




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1 comment to Letter to the Editor: Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs

  • wait a second!

    Isn’t Covanta the reason the cancer rates are so high on Long Island. Wanna tell everyone about all your drivers that got cancer because you were trucking materials from out of state and taking care of them? Tell all the good people about what you really do.

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