June 23, 2017
MEDIA COURTHOUSE >> Delaware County is hitting the road with what is reported to be the first drug takeback vehicle in the state.
County leaders on Friday afternoon unveiled their new drug collection van, a mobile unit that with two mobile drug drop-off boxes that will be featured at community events for people to properly dispose of their unwanted medications. The new van and drop boxes are the county's latest initiatives to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic, illicit drugs reported to have killed 91 people in the county so far this year (out of 101 total drug deaths).
"This van is just another step on all of the things we have been doing through the heroin task force to make it easier for our residents of Delaware County to get rid of prescription drugs in a safe way," said county Councilman Dave White.
Repurposing a county-owned van, the mobile unit will be featured at whatever community events it is called for including paper shreddings, local fairs and community days. The two mobile drop boxes included with the van may be set up at two events they are booked at concurring times, which will then be collected by the county.
The push to reach out to the community at popular spots has already proven effective when 60 pounds of unwanted pills were disposed of at the county's Community Day in April.
"We know it works, we know it's going to be effective and know it's giving the residents of Delaware County another opportunity to dispose of their prescription medications," said county District Attorney Jack Whelan.
Since 2013, the county has incinerated approximately 16,000 pounds of prescription drugs collected through drop-off boxes located at all municipal police departments and the county courthouse. The new collection van will provide another outlet to reach more people.
"It just becomes convenient. If you're gathering documents in your house and you're going to a shredding event anyway, you're going to gather those prescription medications and you can make one trip," said Whelan.
The drug takeback van and mobile drug dropoff boxes are already scheduled to appear at the National Night Out activities in Springfield and Marple on Aug. 1 and at the June 29, July 27, and Aug. 13 performances of the Delco Summer Concert Series at Rose Tree Park.
To schedule the use free use of the van call the District Attorney's Criminal Investigation Division at 610-891-7869.