Neighbors dump old drugs, help needy

Look at how organizers streamlined this prescription drug turn-in and shredding event, while collecting food and clothing for the needy …

Drivers cruise in and drop off a total of more than a half-ton of drugs to be incinerated, and thousands of pounds of personal papers to be shredded.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Making it even easier for East Portland residents to safely dispose of unused prescription and over-the-counter medicines, as well as confidential and financial paperwork, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) White Collar Crimes Unit and Office of Neighborhood Involvement worked with Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) local agents to simplify their drive-through, turn-in event for increased convenience on October 28.

With a new vehicle flow established around the former Southeast Precinct building, traffic congestion along East Burnside Street from waiting cars was reduced.

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team Officers Rob Brown and Ryan Mele load cartons of medications into a van for transport.

“We’re glad to be working again in partnership with the DEA, taking in unused and expired medications,” said City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement Crime Prevention Coordinator Jenni Pullen.

“By holding this event a couple times each year, we’re encouraging the community to clean out their medicine cabinets, so potentially kids and other people won’t get their hands on them,” Pullen said. “We also want to raise awareness about keeping the waterways clean; don’t flush discarded drugs, bring them to a drug turn-in where we incinerate them!”

A local secure shredding company worker unloads more documents that will be destroyed on the spot.

As for document disposal – keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of identity thieves by shredding them is an important step in preventing fraud, observed Pullen.

“And, it’s gratifying to see the amount of donations people are dropping off for the Sunshine Division; the barrels are already full, and the day is far from over,” Pullen said.

PPB Sunshine Division food barrels overflow, thanks to generous donors who come to the drug turn-in.

After the day ended, Pullen told East Portland News that a total of 26 boxes of drugs were collected, sending 1,300 lbs of medicines to the DEA’s incinerator; and, more than six tons of personal documents were securely shredded also.

>> On our Front Page: DEA Agent Jenna Worthing carries a bag of medications to be destroyed, and papers to be shredded.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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