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The original item was published from 10/30/2017 8:40:36 AM to 11/7/2017 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: October 30, 2017

[ARCHIVED] RPD Collects 65 Pounds of Unwanted Prescription Drugs

Officer Joe Mahanna standing in front of the police lobby with boxes of medicine

Riverside Police partners with Riverside Presbyterian Church to send empty bottles to Africa for reuse.

The Riverside Police Department partnered with the Riverside Presbyterian Church to collect unwanted prescription drug bottles for repurposing and use in third world countries.  The police department did its normal unwanted take-back prescription drug program on Saturday, October 28, 2017 and collected 65 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs.  Riverside Police in partnership with Riverside Presbyterian Church emptied pill bottles, made sure the labels were removed, and then sent them to an agency that uses them for pill distribution in third world countries.  The only products sent to the aid organizations were the bottles/containers. All prescription drugs were removed for disposal.

Many times the pills given to patients in third world countries are given out without prescription bottles or in many cases, wrapped in paper, tissue or other some kind of material for distribution.  Under these conditions the pills can get lost, damaged, wet and under no condition to be swallowed for medication purposes.  Pill bottles were collected and turned over to the Riverside Presbyterian Church as part of Riverside Police Department's outreach and community involvement.

Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel stated, “This is the third time in 20 months the Riverside Police Department has actively partnered with a faith-based organization to repurpose the pill bottles so that they can be used instead of just throwing them in the garbage.  The pill bottles were turned over to an agency where they will be repurposed in third world countries where citizens are struggling to get just simple basic medicine.  This is one way we can assist in distributing the medication in a more professional, safe and official manner.”

This year the empty bottles will be going to Africa. In 2017 Riverside Police has collected 187 total pounds of unwanted prescription drugs.

Working the take-back detail was Riverside Police Officer Joe Mahanna.

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