BERNARDS TWP., NJ - In what has become a popular method for residents to empty their medicine chests of expired, unused, and unwanted medications that could become dangerous in the wrong hands, the township will again hold its drive-through dropoff for these drugs on this Saturday, March 25.

The anonymous, convenient collection of drugs for safe disposal is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bernards Township police department at the township municipal complex, 1 Collyer Lane, in Basking Ridge.

The medications that will be accepted include:

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- Unused and expired prescription /over the counter medications
- Only solid medications, pills, patches, inhalers, and similar objects

Items that will NOT be accepted as part of the program include:

- Liquids, medical waste (including oxygen tanks) or syringes. 

Each time the dropoff is held, township officials report receiving many pounds of old medications, which can be dangerous to children. Painkillers and other prescription drugs are also sometimes abused by adolescents.

Preferably, labels should be removed, but some people are elderly and taking them off can be a burden, according to Kaitlin Kordusky, community program coordinator and health educator. If labels cannot be removed, they can be covered with an opaque tape or crossed out with a permanent marker, she suggested. 

The program is arranged through the Bernards Township Municipal Alliance against Substance Abuse in cooperation with the Bernards Township police.

Medications discarded through the program are also credited with keeping potentially dangerous substances out of the general waste stream and, eventually, potentially ending up in drinking water supplies, as is a growing concern.

More information on the program is at http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/meddrop.

After the success of the program for a number of years, a permanent drop off box for unwanted medications was added inside Bernards Township police headquarters. That drop off box is always open for deposits of unwanted medications from 7 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays through Friday at the police department at 1 Collyer Lane in Basking Ridge.