SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The Somerset County Sheriff’s Office recently disposed of over 600 pounds of medication that had been dropped off by county residents through various programs to date this year.

The drugs were transported by van to a facility in northern New Jersey for safe disposal via incineration. 

Proper disposal of medications prevents them from being flushed down toilets and sinks and discarded in landfills, which can lead to potential contamination of groundwater and wastewater treatment plants. It also keeps drugs out of the hands of people susceptible to substance abuse and prevents accidental poisoning by children.

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“Since the inception of the Rx Mission Drive-in/Drop-Off program in 2010 and the Sheriff’s Office participation in other medicine-drop endeavors, over 11,000 pounds have been received for proper disposal," said Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano. “My office and local municipal police are optimistic that these programs are making a difference on illegal prescription-drug use by helping residents remove unwanted and unused drugs from their homes.

“Improper drug use takes a tremendous toll on our nation on a daily basis," Provenzano added. "The number of drug-disposal programs validates the scope of the crisis we are facing and also highlights our commitment to removing these destructive substances from our community."

Under no circumstances should needles be put in any type of container and placed out for recycling collections, according to Provenzano.  Needles and sharps should not be brought to First Saturday of the Month or Household Hazardous Waste drop-off events. 

Needles and syringes can be dropped off at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital/Somerset, located at 110 Rehill Ave., Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Call (908) 685-2200, ext. 3258 for more information about the Safe Syringe Program.  Additional information is available through the Princeton-based New Jersey Hospital Association at (609) 275-4000.

Residents unable to participate in the county’s scheduled medicine drop-off events that are held in conjunction with Household Hazardous Drop-off opportunities can take advantage of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office Medicine Collection Drop Box, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, no questions asked. The drop box is located on the lower level of the Somerset County Administration Building at 20 Grove St. in Somerville, near the entrance to the Sheriff’s Office.

For the convenience of residents, additional 24/7 drop boxes are located in participating municipalities as follows: Bernards Township Police Department, 1 Collyer Lane, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920-(908) 766-1122; Branchburg Police Department, 590 Old York Road at Route 202 North, Branchburg, NJ 08876-(908) 526-3830; Franklin Township Police Department, 495 DeMott Lane, Somerset, NJ 08873-(732) 873-5533; Hillsborough Township Police Department, 379 S. Branch Rd., Hillsborough NJ 08844-(908) 369-4323; and North Plainfield Police Department, 263 Somerset St., North Plainfield, NJ 07060-(908) 769-2937.

For more information regarding medicine collection, contact Capt. Steve SanAntonio at (908) 231-7168, Sheriff’s Officer Nick Fazio at (908) 231-7140, ext. 9, or