Grove City, Jackson Township: Operation Medicine Drop offers safe way to dump medications

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
Volunteers are shown working during the 2018 Operation Medicine Drop. The 2021 event is planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24 at the Jackson Township fire station, 3650 Hoover Road.

Recycling offers people a way to dispose of paper, plastic and other refuse in an environmentally conscious way.

The return of Operation Medicine Drop will make it easy for residents in around Grove City to dispose of leftover medications in an environmentally friendly way.

Residents will be able to bring expired or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24 to the Jackson Township Fire Station, 3650 Hoover Road.

"Putting your pills and antibiotics down the sink or the toilet is a bad thing to do," said Linda Rosine, the city's environmental supervisor. "If you do that, traces of the medications end up in our water supply."

There's an even more important reason to properly dispose of medications, she said.

"It's to keep prescription medications out of the hands of young people," Rosine said. "For some children, the pills they find in the medicine chest is a real temptation."

The Operation Medicine Drop service is free and anonymous.

The event has been held annually since 2010 but was canceled last year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Residents may bring prescription, over-the-counter and pet medications in pill, powder or patch form to Operation Medicine Drop, Rosine said. 

"All the medications need to be removed from their bottles or packaging and placed in a clear, sealed bag," she said.  

Needles, lancets, syringes, inhalers, aerosols, liquids, creams and pastes will not be accepted.

"It's a drive-up event, safe and secure, with everyone wearing masks and following the proper protocols," Rosine said. "You can just stay in your car, hand over your unwanted medications (and) then drive on and continue your day."

The first Operation Medicine Drop was held in 2010 in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Take Back Day, which promotes the safe disposal of medication.

"We collected about 373 pounds of pills at the 2019 event," Rosine said. 

About 1,600 pounds of pills have been collected over the years at the Operation Medicine Drop days, she said.

In 2014, The Grove City Division of Police, in partnership with the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, installed a dropbox for prescription and over-the-counter in the lobby of the Grove City Safety Complex, 3360 Park St.

About 2,900 pounds of pills were placed in the dropbox over the first six years, Rosine said.

The dropbox has not been available during the pandemic year, with the safety complex building closed to the public, she said.

Dropboxes are available at three locations in Grove City year-round, Rosine said. Those locations are Meijer, 2811 London Groveport Road; CVS, 2565 London Groveport Road; and Walmart, 1693 Stringtown Road.

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