The Norman Transcript

Crime/Courts

November 7, 2013

OBN provides Rx drop boxes to Noble, Lexington

NOBLE — The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics visited Noble and Lexington police departments Thursday, providing them with permanent drop boxes for the safe disposal of prescription drugs.

OBN Director Darrell Weaver said the program began a few years ago when they were brainstorming how to implement a standardized approach across the state.

“We decided we would take these funky-looking mailbox things and put them in police departments and sheriff’s departments around the state,” Weaver said.

The drop boxes are available for those who want to safely dispose of prescription drugs with no questions asked and no investigations, he said. The boxes provided Thursday were the 146th and 147th in Oklahoma.

In the two years the program has been active, OBN has collected 21.6 tons of prescription drugs.

“We don’t have the manpower to count every pill, but we have a way to measure it by weight,” Weaver said. “How many lives were saved? We don’t know, but I can almost guarantee that somebody’s been saved.”

The agency also is conscious about the disposal of the prescription drugs collected. Covanta Energy in Tulsa is a facility that takes household trash and converts it into green energy. When Weaver heard about it, he wanted to see it.

“We went up there in this dirty, sweaty place inside a dump, and it’s July and it’s about 125 degrees in there. Of course, I’m in my suit sweating, my bald head’s sweating up a storm. But guess what? It was worth every second because when we went in there, those guys said, ‘This is what we’ll do. We’ll take these back and we’ll convert it to green energy, and it won’t cost you a dime,” Weaver said.

Two years later, it still hasn’t cost them a dime, he said.

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