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Town of Grand Island: Drug drop-off sets record for pounds collected

by jmaloni
Fri, May 10th 2013 10:45 pm
Volunteers Amanda Passarelli of Grand Island, left, and Katie Wrona, a pharmacy student from the University at Buffalo, assist a driver in the parking lot of Grand Island Town Hall drive up and drop off unused over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as sharps. Volunteers like Passarelli and Wrona collected 374 pounds of meds.
Volunteers Amanda Passarelli of Grand Island, left, and Katie Wrona, a pharmacy student from the University at Buffalo, assist a driver in the parking lot of Grand Island Town Hall drive up and drop off unused over-the-counter and prescription medications, as well as sharps. Volunteers like Passarelli and Wrona collected 374 pounds of meds.
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Photos and story by Larry Austin

Grand Island Town Supervisor Mary Cooke said the drug takeback day conducted April 27 at Town Hall was a great success. During a four-hour period, volunteers accepted 374 pounds of unused and unwanted medications from 125 vehicles.

During April 29's joint meeting between the Town Board and the Grand Island Board of Education, Cooke said the total was "the most that we've ever collected on Grand Island." The town has participated in four such events now.

Eventually, a permanent dropbox will be located on the Island, she noted. "And that will help provide a place for 24/7 disposal."

Michael Manuszewski, pharmacist at the Island Prescription Center, 1728 Grand Island Blvd., said during Saturday's drop-off that the event "just takes the drugs out of the home and eliminates one or two possibilities of people obtaining them to abuse them. And also, it will keep the water table safer."

On the latter count, he noted medications disposed into landfills and waste treatment centers migrate back to the population. Studies have identified instances where the level of drugs in the water table is "at a therapeutic level, where people will get effects from medications," he said.

The Island Prescription Center accepts drop-offs in the same manner as Saturday's event at Town Hall. "Every day we're open, we do accept medications for returns, prescription and over-the-counter," Manuszewski said. "We say 'Thank you' and you're on your way."

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