Wampsville (WSYR-TV) -- Last weekend’s prescription drug take back was a hit in Madison County, with nearly 500 pounds of pills collected, but they’ve come up with a much easier way for people to dispose of their old medications.
On Friday, the county unveiled the first drug take back kiosk in Upstate New York located at the county DMV in Wampsville.
The kiosk is intended to be a quick and easy way for people to get rid of old medications. The goal is to keep the meds from falling into the wrong hands and to fight the exploding problem of prescription drug abuse – but that’s not all.
“We don’t want them put down the toilets, we don’t want them put in the garbage, it’s an environmental issue with the landfill. It’s not good for the water tables,” explained Madison County Undersheriff John Ball.
Rather than waiting for the two collection days each year, people can now drop off prescriptions five days a week, year round. The county needed approvals from the State Department of Health and DEC, which included security and disposal plans before the kiosk could be installed.
"The unit is secured to the floor and we have staff here from the DMV as well as a deputy from the Madison County Sheriff's Department who is making sure the kiosk is secured,” said Abby Simchik.
The kiosk is now available at the DMV, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
"Initially we'll be checking it daily and then probably depending on the volume that comes in we'll either be dumping it daily, or weekly and it will be disposed of properly through incineration,” Ball said.
Even though they’ve just put in the first kiosk, the county is already set to work on a second one – likely in Hamilton – and they may not stop there.
People can drop off any of their old, unwanted prescriptions, including pills, powders , liquids, epi-pens, vials, sprays, inhalers, gels and ointments – even pet meds will be accepted. One thing the kiosk won’t take is syringes. The kiosk is not open to medical offices, hospitals or pharmacies.
The only other area in upstate considering the kiosks is Tompkins County.