State drug take-back program includes sites in Lewis, Herkimer counties


The first group of participants in the state’s trial/pilot pharmaceutical drug “take-back” program will include sites in Lewis and Herkimer counties.

Lewis County General Hospital in Lowville and The Medicine Shoppe, 10 Central Ave. in Ilion, will be among 80 participants across New York including retail pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care facilities, the state Department of Environmental Conservation announced.

The pilot program will officially begin accepting waste medications in April 2018, when medication collection boxes are delivered to and installed by participating pharmacies, said the DEC. Until then, the public is encouraged to use existing medication collection box locations as listed on the DEC website at through the link for “NYS Medication Drop Box Locations.”

Under the pilot drug take-back program, DEC will purchase medication collection boxes and pay for disposal of waste pharmaceuticals collected by participating facilities for two years. The program is geared to improve water quality, protect public health by removing medications from home medicine cabinets, and reduce potential adverse impacts to fish and aquatic organisms. Flushed medications have been found in New York lakes, rivers, and streams and can negatively affect the waterways, the DEC said.

The pilot program is accepting applications. Retail pharmacies, hospitals, and long-term care facilities are encouraged to enroll online at the Pilot Pharmaceutical Take-Back Program at or at

“By placing medication drop boxes in community pharmacies, hospitals and long-term care facilities, we are increasing opportunities for New Yorkers to properly and easily dispose of unwanted medications,” said DEC Commissioner Basil
Seggos. “Participants in New York’s free drug take-back program are protecting their communities and the environment.”


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