Tisbury Police set up prescription drug discard bin

Chief Daniel Hanavan, shown here with Youth Task Force Coalition Coordinator Theresa Manning, said he won't seek a new contract with the town. — Photo courtesy of Tisbury Police

A special drug collection box is now available upstairs in the Tisbury Police station at 32 Water Street in Vineyard Haven. Unwanted or expired household prescriptions, over-the-counter, and other unused medicines can be discarded during the police station’s business hours or by contacting a police officer.

Tisbury Police Chief Dan Hanavan said drop-offs may be made from 8 am to 4 pm on Monday through Friday. For access to the box, which is located upstairs off the lobby behind a locked door, ring the front desk buzzer for assistance.

Chief Hanavan suggested calling the station first at 508-696-4240, to make sure assistance is available. To drop off medicines after hours, contact the Dukes County Sheriff’s Communications Center at 508-693-1212 and ask for a Tisbury police officer to call back to arrange for a meeting at the station.

The MedReturn Drug Collection Unit purchased by the Tisbury Police is the same as one the Edgartown Police bought last February.

“We thought we should get one on this side of the Island,” Chief Hanavan said. “The Edgartown Police have already been providing this service to the community. But by having a box here, people on their way to get on a ferry, for example, can stop by our station and throw away unneeded or expired prescription drugs.”

The box cost $895, including shipping and handling. Chief Hanavan said the cost was covered with funds contributed from the Youth Task Force by Coalition Coordinator Theresa Manning and from Tisbury’s board of health budget through health inspector Tom Pachico.

Police will accept all prescription medications and samples, all over-the-counter medications, vitamins, pet medications, medicated ointments, and liquid medication in leak-proof containers.

Items that cannot be discarded at the drop box include thermometers, syringes, IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, hydrogen peroxide, and aerosol cans or inhalers.

Police store the collected medications in a secure area, and then turn them over to federal authorities for disposal.

The idea is to remove outdated or unwanted medications from homes and to discourage addicts from breaking in to steal prescription narcotics. The drug collection boxes also help prevent discarded medicines from ending up in landfills and leaching into groundwater.