Shred event takes in tons of drugs, documents, e-waste

You’ve read how ‘Drug Turn-ins’ help outer East Portland residents. Now, be amazed at how much electronic waste was also turned in at this four-hour collection …

During the entire four-hour drug, document, and e-waste collection day, vehicles are lined up, bumper-to-bumper, around the former Southeast Precinct building.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

For several years, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) partnered with the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and the Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) Crime Prevention Program to hold “Drug Turn-in” days, recently at the former Southeast Precinct campus on E. Burnside Street.

At their most turn-in event, held on April 28, officials and volunteers worked at a dizzying pace, serving about 1,150 neighbors at the drop-off location.

A Portland Police Cadet adds another load of electronics for recycling to the rapidly growing pile of discarded gear.

New this year was on-site electronics recycling, courtesy of the Better Business Bureau and Green Century Recycling. Within the first hour, seven giant totes were filled to overflowing; discarded items piled up along the west side of the collection area.

“Also taking in discarded electronics is going to help clean up our neighborhoods; we often see this stuff dumped at vacant lots and in alleys,” commented PPB East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team Sergeant Randy Teig, as watched the gear pile up.

The heaps of what ended up being 26,400 pounds of discarded electronics continued to grow during the event.

“The response to this today is amazing,” says ONI Crime Prevention Program specialist Jenni Pullen.

“The popularity of electronics recycling has been a surprise to us all,” said ONI Crime Prevention Program specialist Jenni Pullen, commenting that the official tally was 13.2 tons of electronics collected.

“And, it’s gratifying to see so many caring Portlanders safely disposing of unused and expired drugs, keeping these potentially dangerous prescription medications from getting into the wrong hands,” Pullen told East Portland News.

An off-duty police officer dumps another load of drugs into waiting cartons.

PPB  East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team Sergeant Randy Teig packs in another carton of turned-in medication that will soon be incinerated.

Medications are taken on a no-questions-asked basis, Pullen noted, and then securely stored until their incinerated, which helps keep drugs from polluting ground water, she said. At day’s end, the event took in just over a ton of medications for disposal; 2,150 pounds of them, to be exact.

PPB East Precinct Neighborhood Response Officer Joe Young deposits  paper for shredding into a roll cart.

The PPB White Collar Crimes Detail once again oversaw paper shredding at the event, where documents, containing information that could be used by identity thieves were destroyed. Before the event was over, two shred trucks were filled to capacity, with 20,000 pounds of destroyed paper.

“We’re all seeing this as a wonderful opportunity to provide additional community safety services, where neighbors can have document shredding, electronics recycling, and a drug turn-in at the same place and time,” Pullen said.

This volunteer adds donated food to the overflowing PPB Sunshine Division barrels.

PPB East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team Officer Robert Brown keeps cars moving through the “drive-through” event.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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