For immediate release: Monday, June 4, 2012
Contact: Kim King, PIO 357-6134 firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Stone County Announces First Incinerator
Stone County Announces First Incinerator
On Monday, June 4th, the Stone County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and the Stone County Health Department (SCHD) unveiled Stone County’s first incinerator. Chief Deputy Richard Anderson demonstrated how the new incinerator efficiently and cleanly destroys prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications as well as seized substances; turning containers and all substances to ash. The portable drug incinerator meets EPA, federal, and state regulations. It uses charcoal or wood, burns at a temperature of 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and burns environmentally clean.
The need for an incinerator became apparent when Drug Take-Back events proved to be successful and of great need in Stone County. Since September 2010, the SCHD, SCSO, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local police departments (PDs) in Crane, Reeds Spring, Branson West, Indian Point, and Kimberling City have sponsored four Drug-Take Back events, resulting in the collection of 158 pounds of unwanted, unused, and expired medications. Twice a year the DEA sponsored these temporary Drug Take-Back events by providing medication disposal boxes and arranging for the pick-up and proper disposal of the secured medications.
In response to the rise in prescription drug abuse Sheriff Richard Hill, Chief Deputy Richard Anderson, SCHD’s Health Educator Kim King, and Stone County’s Northern Commissioner Jim Huy came to the conclusion that the county needed to work toward providing its people an opportunity to properly dispose of medications more than two times a year. It is their hope and goal to create a sustainable network of safe drug disposal sites in the northern and southern part of Stone County. This group became the driving force behind the need for the incinerator. The incinerator is the first step in obtaining their goal. The second step is to provide permanent drug drop-off boxes in the county, which is currently in the process of being finalized as well. Thank you to Lakeland Pharmacy and the Cape Fair Eagles Aeries and Auxiliary for their generous donations to help with purchasing the permanent drop-off boxes. However, more funds are needed. If you or your organization wants to help with this project, please contact Kim King at 357-6134 or email@example.com.
Currently, to dispose of collected medications or confiscated drugs, the SCSO and local PDs must locate the nearest law enforcement agency willing to accept and incinerate these substances. Storing these substances can be cumbersome to law enforcement while possibly constituting a serious security and liability issue. It is also costly to transport the substances out of the county to be incinerated; thus utilizing taxpayer dollars to do so.
“For the reasons, already mentioned, it just made sense for the county to have an incinerator. We appealed to the Law Enforcement Restitution Board for the funds to purchase the incinerator,” says Sheriff Richard Hill. The Restitution Board approved the purchase of the $4,000 incinerator to address a vital public safety and public health issue. The incinerator was not purchased with taxpayer dollars. Kim King, Health Educator adds “the purchase of the portable incinerator provides the capability to dispose of prescription medication and other drugs in an environmentally safe and effective manner.”
The SCSO is accepting unwanted, unused, and expired medications with no questions asked any day of the week and any time of the day until a permanent drug drop-off box is available. All prescriptions being dropped off will go directly into the confidential incinerator storage before burning. NO ONE will have access to the prescriptions; it is totally anonymous! Having the incinerator makes it possible for the SCSO and participating PDs, within the county, the opportunity to offer this community service to the public. SCSO will weigh and keep records on the amount of medication collected for proper disposal. However, at this time, liquid medications, needles, and syringes ARE NOT accepted.
Stone County Health Department, Sheriff’s Office, and community partners want to encourage you to protect your community by safely storing and tracking your usable medications as well as safely disposing of unused/expired medications. Working together, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs and reduce the hazard they pose to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way.
Stone County Sheriff's Office Incinerator
(lft to rt.) Chief Deputy Richard Anderson burning the substances in the incinerator; Angela Ford, Stone County Health Department Administrator, Sheriff Richard Hill, County Commissioner Jerry Dodd, and Restitution Board Member Doris Herington