Southampton, New York - Starting today, Montauk residents will have direct access to a Big Red Med Disposal Box located at the hamlet’s Police Precinct at 8 South Embassy Street. The DEA-approved box is sponsored by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital and allows for the safe and free disposal of unwanted or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. The intent is to encourage environmentally safe discarding of unused medications rather than tossing them down drain pipes, toilets, or in the garbage where they can contaminate water and landfill. The Med Disposal Box also helps prevent drug abuse by safely collecting unused medications, including prescription opioids. Residents and visitors will be able to access the red disposal box during normal Montauk Precinct business hours, 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
This program is the result of requests by the Montauk Citizens Action Committee (CAC) and Concerned Citizens of Montauk (CCOM) to the East Hampton Town Police Department for a Montauk medication disposal box. Councilperson Sylvia Overby supported the proposal and received approval from the East Hampton Town Board. Sgt. Alversa worked with Tom McAbee of the Lloyd Magothy Water Trust to provide the receptacle and to retain the sponsorship of Stony Brook Southampton Hospital.
“This is an opportunity to dispose of any type of medication whether it is prescribed or over-the-counter in a responsible way,” said Councilperson Overby. “Having a location in Montauk is an important step in keeping un-used or out of date drugs from the possibility of being used or disposed of improperly.”
“We are proud to assist in this program,” said Sergeant Kenneth Alversa, East Hampton Town Police Department. “By providing residents with a safe means of disposing of unused medications that needlessly linger in household medicine cabinets, we can help keep old prescriptions out of the hands of small children and teens, while also protecting our water from being contaminated by improper disposal.”
The East Hampton Town Police Department will take possession of the collected medications, seal them in a special bag, and transport them to the Covanta MacArthur Waste-to-Energy facility in Ronkonkoma where a “witness burn” is conducted. During a “witness burn,” the police officer documents the incineration of the medications which is conducted at 1,800 degrees F. until they are reduced to inert ash.
This is the third medication disposal box sponsored by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. The first box is in the Southampton Village Police Department and the second box is located in the Sag Harbor Pharmacy at 120 Main Street in Sag Harbor.
About Big Red Med Disposal Box
Operation Big Red Med Disposal Box, a division of The Lloyd Magothy Water Trust, Inc., a 501c3 not-for-profit, is dedicated to responsible medication disposal which prevents prescription drug abuse and prevents the contamination of water caused by the flushing of unwanted or expired medications into groundwater.
Twenty-three Big Red Med Disposal Boxes are installed in pharmacies and police departments across Long Island, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Kansas.
Photo, from left: Dr. Michael Genereux, Meeting House Lane Medical Practice; East Hampton Town Board Councilperson Sylvia Overby; and Sergeant Kenneth Alversa, with Tom McAbee, Executive Director of the Big Red Med Disposal Box, demonstrate how easy it is to safely dispose of unwanted or expired medications. Proper disposal prevents water and landfill contamination, as well as keeps unused prescriptions from improper use.