Public Info

County to Participate in “Operation Take Back New Jersey”

Union County to join 17 Union County municipalities in nationwide collection of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications


Union County – Union County residents who want to rid their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs in a safe and non-hazardous manner will be able to do so on Saturday, April 30th, 2011. From 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., the Union County Police Department will be hosting “Operation Take Back New Jersey” at their Union County Police Headquarters, located at 300 North Avenue in Westfield, NJ.

Prescription drug abuse is rapidly becoming one of our nation’s greatest emerging drug problems and it is widely recognized that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from home medicine cabinets.

According to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs. Additionally, the survey reported for the 3rd year in a row that prescription drugs are the 2nd most abused drug category behind only marijuana.

The goal of “Operation Take Back New Jersey” is to allow the citizens of New Jersey to deliver all of their unused, unwanted, or expired medications to law enforcement officials who can in turn dispose of these controlled substances in a safe and non-hazardous manner, preventing these pills from falling into the hands of juveniles or into the illicit market in our communities.

“The County of Union is committed to doing everything we can to make our communities safer,” stated Chairman Deborah P. Scanlon. “Medicines that are stored in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. I encourage all Union County residents to look through home medicine cabinets and dispose of any expired or unused prescription drugs at a participating collection center.”

In addition to this growing drug problem, unused and expired prescription medications also represent a severe environmental hazard. Most individuals are not aware of methods to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away; both potential safety and health hazards.

In 2010, Operation Take Back New Jersey was a tremendous success collecting over 14,400 pounds of potentially dangerous medications.

Nationwide the program collected 245,500 pounds of unwanted, unused or expired medication.

In addition to the UCPD collection site, 17 municipal sites have been established in the following Union County municipalities: Berkeley Heights, Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, Fanwood, Garwood, Kenilworth, Linden, Mountainside, New Providence, Plainfield, Roselle, Roselle Park, Scotch Plains, Springfield, Summit and Westfield. The public can find the locations for all collection sites by visiting


For more information on any Union County press release, please contact Sebastian D’Elia, Communications Director for the County of Union, or a designee listed at the top of this press release. Please join the County of Union online at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at