Hempstead Town, Covanta Energy Team Up to Prevent Pharmaceuticals from Entering Waterways and Polluting the Environment

Hempstead Town, in partnership with Covanta Energy, is reminding residents that they can safely dispose of their pharmaceutical products at town-sponsored E-Cycle programs held at various locations throughout the year. Whether prescribed by a medical professional or purchased over-the-counter, drugs and other medicinal products can be extremely harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly.

The proper removal of unused and expired medications and medical products also prevents misuse of these potentially dangerous substances. At the town’s most recent E-Cycle event at Town Park Point Lookout on May 4th, more than 200 residents disposed of their unwanted pharmaceuticals. The discarded medicine is collected by the Nassau County Police Department, which then safely transports the items for disposal at the Covanta facility in Westbury.

“Hundreds of residents have safely disposed of their unused and expired medication thanks to the Pharmaceutical Disposal Program at Hempstead Town’s E-Cycle events,” Murray said. “I thank Covanta Energy for its longstanding partnership and the Nassau County Police Department for ensuring the safe handling and transportation of these potentially dangerous items.”

 Covanta’s Rx4Safety program was launched as a direct response to evidence of pollution in our waterways and drinking water, and prescription drug abuse among our nation’s youth,” said Tom Murphy, Business Manager for Covanta Hempstead. “The program provides free, safe destruction of medications collected at community drug take-back programs at Covanta Energy-from-Waste Facilities.” During 2012, Covanta Hempstead processed 2,060 pounds of prescription drugs from surrounding communities and law enforcement agencies.

Hempstead Town residents can bring their unwanted pharmaceuticals to the next E-Cycle event, scheduled for Saturday, August 3rd from 8 AM to 2 PM at Town Parking Field L2 on Division Avenue, off of Hempstead Turnpike, in Levittown

At Hempstead Town E-Cycling Collection events, residents can also dispose of old electronic equipment, such as computers, computer components, televisions, VCRs, DVD players and more to ensure proper recycling and disposal of these potentially toxic items. Additionally, E-Cycle offers residents the opportunity to safely shred documents while they wait and watch. 

Covanta Energy also sponsors a popular mercury recycling program at Hempstead Town’s S.T.O.P. (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) events. Hempstead Town residents who bring an old thermostat to a S.T.O.P. event (next S.T.O.P. event scheduled for Saturday, June 22nd at Bay Park in East Rockaway from 8 AM to 3 PM) and receive a $5 gift card to a local home center thanks to Covanta Energy. For more information about S.T.O.P. and E-Cycle events, visit the Hempstead Town’s sanitation webpage online at www.toh.li/sanitation-department or call (516) 378-4210, option 6.

“The town’s Sanitation Department offers an array of environmentally friendly programs at convenient times and locations,” Murray said. “I encourage residents to participate in these programs and help us protect our previous planet.”