Indianapolis, Ind. -- Covanta Energy, a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy, is honoring the Office of the Indiana Attorney General (OAG) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in commemoration of the milestone attainment of the successful destruction of one million pounds of unwanted prescription medication. Both organizations have partnered closely with Covanta Energy and their nationally recognized Prescription for Safety Program (Rx4Safety™) to achieve this milestone and were recognized for exceptional leadership in protecting local residents and the environment from the improper disposal of drugs.
The Office of the Attorney General, along with the DEA, coordinate statewide collection of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for their destruction.
“My office sincerely appreciates the recognition for its commitment to cracking down on the state’s prescription drug abuse epidemic,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “Prescription drug take back programs are critical to keeping these drugs off the streets and out of the wrong hands. Thanks to Covanta, the state has been provided a way to responsibly and safely dispose of these unwanted medications and at no cost.”
“Misuse of prescription drugs can lead to addiction and often leads to the illegal use of illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine, and there is currently a nationwide epidemic of prescription drug abuse in this country,” said Jack Riley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the DEA, which includes Indiana. “It’s crucial that prescription medication is dispensed and used only as the physician intended and that unused medication is disposed of quickly and in a manner that is safe for the environment. The National Prescription Drug Take Back campaign, which is sponsored by the DEA, is an important first step in keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of those who may misuse them and Covanta has been a consistent and incredible partner in our efforts to safely dispose of these materials.”
Prescription drug-related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in over half of U.S. states. The OAG and DEA are addressing this epidemic through their extensive state wide collections. Once collected, the drugs are properly destroyed via Covanta’s Rx4Safety program and turned into safe and clean energy at Covanta Indianapolis free of charge. This ensures unwanted prescription drugs are kept off of the streets and out of drinking water.
“Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and the Rx4Safety program provides people with a safe and environmentally-sound way to dispose of unwanted prescription medications, keeping them out of the hands of potential drug abusers,” said John G. Waffenschmidt, Covanta Energy vice president of environmental science and community affairs. “Thanks to the efforts of the Attorney General and the DEA, we have reached this major milestone, protecting both people and the environment from the improper disposal of drugs.”
When flushed down the drain or disposed of in landfills, medications enter waterways and contaminate surface waters, having an adverse effect on our drinking water and the environment. The Rx4Safety program provides people across the country with a way to safely dispose of unwanted drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, veterinary medications and nutritional supplements, through collaboration with local groups that organize free drop-off events. Drugs are properly destroyed at Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste facilities and turned into clean, safe energy. These facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art combustion controls and air pollution control equipment to ensure environmentally sound destruction.
For more information, please visit www.covantaenergy.com/Rx4Safety
About the Office of Indiana Attorney General
Hoosiers can find out more about the Attorney General’s statewide public awareness campaign on prescription drug abuse by visiting www.BitterPill.IN.gov.
About the Prescription for Safety Program (Rx4Safety)
Covanta’s Rx4Safety program assists groups holding drug take-back events with environmentally sound disposal of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, veterinary medications and nutritional supplements using the Energy-from-Waste process to protect our water supply, while creating clean electricity in the process.
Municipalities interested in participating in Covanta’s program must obtain appropriate regulatory approvals to ensure that such wastes are not classified as hazardous waste from a federal, state, or local perspective. Each prospective program is subject to a due diligence review by Covanta Energy.
Covanta is a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy. The Company’s 45 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities and businesses around the world with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta’s modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle over 430,000 tons of metal. Energy-from-Waste facilities reduce greenhouse gases, complement recycling and are a critical component to sustainable solid waste management. For more information, visit www.covantaenergy.com.