Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Gov. Wolf Signs Bill Making It Easier To Safely Dispose Of Unwanted Drugs

Gov. Tom Wolf Wednesday signed into law legislation— House Bill 1737 (Maher-R- Allegheny)— to make it easier and safer to destroy unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
It was part of a package of bills signed into law to deal with the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania.
The bill is sponsored by Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny), Majority Chair of the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee.
“With this new legislation we want to remind PA residents that there are safe ways to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines,” said Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “We want to encourage everyone to safely and responsibly dispose of medicines and other pharmaceuticals rather than just flush them down the drain or send them to a landfill.”
“We hope that changing prior disposal restrictions will encourage more collection events to enable people to dispose of expired and unwanted drugs,” said McDonnell.
The bill was supported by a variety of groups, including DEP’s Environmental Justice Advisory Committee and Covanta Energy who highlighted the importance of providing safe disposal of unwanted or unneeded prescription and other drugs.
Covanta Energy, which supplies safe and secure disposal of prescription drugs through its Rx4 Safety Program, also supports the legislation.  Covanta operates five energy-from-waste facilities in Pennsylvania, including in Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and York counties.
In Gov. Wolf’s address to a joint session of the House and Senate on the opioid and heroin crisis, he noted there are nearly 520 take-back boxes located at police stations across Pennsylvania, and we have collected and destroyed over 145,000 pounds of prescription drugs, including opioids.
Drug Take Back Locations near you can be found by visiting--
The bill is now Act 123. A House Fiscal Note and summary is available.

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