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Tonawanda Police latest to install drug & needle drop boxes

WBFO News File Photo

A State Program aimed at reducing medical waste in the environment is also helping to keep used needles and old prescriptions out of the wrong hands.  

The "Expanded Syringe Access Program" has been providing drop boxes for used syringes and outdated medications at various locations since 1999.  Cheryll Moore of the Erie County Health Department says the program was initiated years ago in an effort to reduce medial waste in the environment and it worked.

"We used to get these reports, especially this time of year, all this medical waste washed up on the beach. We  don't see that anymore," says Moore. "We would get a lot more calls for needles that were in the environment somewhere... Someone would find them. They'd be out walking their dog. We would get the calls. We would go clean them up. We don't get that as much anymore either."  

The program is now also helping to keep used needles and old or outdated prescriptions out of the wrong hands. Moore says there are 75 drop boxes sites through out Western New York, those sites include about 20 police agencies in Erie County. The Town of Tonawanda Police Department is the latest to install them

"They put up dual kiosks at this point. I'm really proud of them. I'm glad they did. They're going be in the lobby of their police department."

One of the kiosks or drop boxes if for outdated or unused medications, the other is for syringes/needles.

Syringes should be placed in a capped container, like a pop bottle. Prescriptions do not need to be labeled.