The Waxahachie Police Department has a new resource available to residents who want to dispose of old medication.
The department installed a new prescription and over-the-counter drug collection box in its lobby on Wednesday. The new box will allow people to dispose of drug property without causing harm to the environment.
More than 15,000 children become addicted to drugs each day and the average age a child who becomes addicted is 12, according to Drug Prevention Resources,, Inc., a nonprofit that provides prevention education and an organization that Impact Waxahachie has connections with.
“Shari Phillips, with Impact Waxahachie, approached me a couple of months ago about the idea of having a prescription drug drop off box here at the station. We talked about it and thought it was a great idea,” said Waxahachie Police Chief Wade Goolsby. “We talked about how we were going to fund it. She went to the Rotary Club and did a presentation on what they are trying to accomplish. Bob Hodge, with the Rotary Club, then came to visit me and said I would like to make a donation, so that I can get the box. So from there, here we are.”
The large metal box sits in the secured lobby of the police department. It is monitored by cameras and by the personnel station at the dispatch office. The box is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“We don’t want syringes or illegal drugs. This is basically for pills and liquids in small quantities that are prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter medicine,” Goolsby said. “There is a sign on the box that tells you what you can do. The box will also take prescriptions for your animals.”
Goolsby said if people wish to drop off old medicattion during non-business hours, they can press the button for the intercom that is connected to the dispatch office. Once the items are collected, members of the police department will use a burn barrel, approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on site to incinerate the items collected. The incineration of the drugs does not pose a health risk to the public because it is filtered and does not put anything into the air, Goolsby.
Hodge said he was inspired to make the donation because he knew he had some medication that he needed to get rid of because he can't uses it anymore.
“I needed to get rid of them because the pharmacy won’t take them back,” Hodge said. “When she said something about that, the chief was sitting at the table next to us and I turned around and said ‘why don’t you get a box.’ It went from there and he looked into it. I came down one day and gave him a check for $750.”
Goolsby said the boxes he looked into were going to cost about $1,500 and he had agreed to fund half if Hodge got the first half donated. He later found a box for $750, so now they are looking to help another local agency purchase a collection box in the future.
Phillips said having this box would keep the community a little safer and is a great resource to have. Even though the department now has a permanent collection box, Impact Waxahachie will still continue to do the public drug take back events.
“We are looking at still doing the twice a year drug take back events just to keep it out in the public. Phillips said. “Since 2011, with the two events that we have had, over 2,000 pounds of prescription and over the counter medications.”
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