Drop-off Program at Kenmore Mercy Hospital Provides Medication Disposal Alternative

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September 20, 2010

For the second year in a row, Kenmore Mercy Hospital, in conjunction with Catholic Health Go Green and Erie County is hosting a drive-through pharmaceutical drop-off program for unused household medications on Saturday, September 25 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Area residents are encouraged to bring their expired, unused, or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications to the hospital, located at 2950 Elmwood Avenue in Kenmore, for proper disposal.

Participants should drive to the rear of the hospital near the Medical Staff Building where their materials will be processed by Catholic Health Pharmacy staff, University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy interns and pharmacists from the Western New York Society of Health System Pharmacists. All unwanted medications will be disposed of at Covanta Energy’s incineration facilities in Niagara Falls.

“We want to prevent unused portions of prescription medications from ending up in garbage dumps, polluting the water, or ending up in the hands of our children,” said Frank Heinrich, a Kenmore Mercy Hospital pharmacist. “We also want to teach people how to properly dispose of their unused medications.”

A range of health concerns can arise from keeping outdated or unused prescription drugs in the medicine cabinet or disposing of them improperly, such as flushing them down the toilet. This includes street-level profiteering, abuse, unintentional overdoses, and ecological contamination.

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Society conducted a study of over 130 of our nation’s rivers, streams, and other waterways, and found traces of pharmaceuticals in over 80 percent of them.

“Through this program, we will be able to take unused prescription medications out of area households and dispose of them in the most environmentally-friendly way possible, protecting our community and the environment,” Heinrich added.

Kenmore Mercy Hospital is partnering with Erie County, University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy, Kids Escaping Drugs, the Town of Cheektowaga Police Department, Western New York Poison Control, Drug Enforcement Administration Buffalo Office and Covanta Energy to make this program possible.

This year’s program is part of a nationwide government sponsored drug disposal. Other locations in the Buffalo area where individuals can drop off their old medications are:

  • Buffalo: American Red Cross, 786 Delaware Avenue
  • North Tonawanda: City Hall, 216 Payne Avenue
  • East Aurora: East Aurora Highway Barn, 400 Pine Street
  • Gowanda: Village Municipal Building, 27 East Main Street
  • Hamburg: Erie County Fairgrounds, S 5600 McKinley Pkwy
  • Kenmore: Kenmore Mercy Hospital, 2950 Elmwood Avenue
  • Lockport: Lockport Plaza parking lot, S. Transit and Willow
  • Niagara Falls: Former NF Police Dept, 520 Hyde Park Blvd.
  • Alfred: Alfred Fire Dept, 8 South Main Street
  • Canaseraga: Fire Dept, 10 Main Street
  • Olean: Cattaraugus County Office Building, 1 Leo Moss Dr.
  • Lakewood: Chatauqua Mall, 318 East Fairmount Ave
  • Salamanca: City Municipal Building, 225 Wildwood Ave
  • Warsaw: Sheriff's Dept north lot, 151 North Main Street
  • Wellsville: Wellsville Fire Dept, 40 South Main Street

To learn more about proper disposal of medications, log on to the NYSDEC website or call (716) 858-6800, option 3.