Capt. Jeremy Watney said the box was installed about three months ago based on a request by a Tracy resident, Robert Tanner, at a City Council meeting.
Watney said Tanner asked the council to create a drug collection box after he saw one in Southern California while clearing out the home of a relative who had died.
The council accepted the idea, and the box, made by MedReturn LLC, was installed at the police department in a small room between the main entrance and the lobby doors. The room is open to the public 24 hours a day.
“I think it’s a great idea,” Watney said. “It makes it easier to dispose of the drugs properly, instead of throwing them away or flushing them down the toilet.”
Watney said the department has always accepted prescription drugs from residents when the lobby is open. The box is more convenient, he said, because it is always available.
Vivian Mendoza, a crime prevention specialist at the police department, said she had received many calls from residents wanting to get rid of their old medications.
“We get inquiries, because the hospital wasn’t able to take back drugs,” Mendoza said. “People didn’t know the right way to dispose of drugs safely.”
Watney said the police department maintains the box. When it’s full, the contents are removed and kept in a secure area awaiting disposal during local take-back events sponsored twice a year by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
Mendoza said the next drug take-back event in Tracy is scheduled April 26 in the City Hall parking lot. Needles and sharps will be accepted that day.
• Contact Glenn Moore at 830-4252 or email@example.com.
At a glance
Many unwanted medications can be discarded in a secure box inside the Tracy Police Department entrance at 1000 Civic Center Drive, but there are a few exclusions. For more information, call Vivian Mendoza at 831-6614.
• Prescription medications
• Prescription patches
• Prescription ointments
• Over-the-counter medications
• Medication samples
• Pet medications
• Medications in aerosol cans
• Needles and sharps
• Bloody or infectious medical waste
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Nonprescription lotions, ointments and liquids
• Medication from businesses or clinics