Local residents turned in close to 200 pounds of old prescription drugs over the weekend at sites sponsored by the Leavenworth and Lansing Police Departments.
Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said authorities estimate about 100 pounds was turned in Saturday at the local Price Chopper store. This was a collection site for the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman said 72 pounds were turned in at a collection site at Lansing City Hall.
"That's a lot of medication," he said.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is an initiative of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Participating agencies accept unused, unwanted prescription drugs. The drugs then are turned over to the DEA for disposal.
The recent Drug Take-Back event was held Saturday. In addition to Leavenworth and Lansing, there were collection sites set up at Fort Leavenworth and in Tonganoxie.
Sixty-seven pounds of old prescription drugs were collected in Tonganoxie, according to Tonganoxie Police Chief Jeffery Brandau.
Information about the amount collected at Fort Leavenworth wasn't immediately available.
This was the first time the Lansing Police Department participated in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Wayman said he had no idea what to expect in terms of how many prescription drugs would be turned in.
He considered the 72 pounds collected in Lansing to be a success. But he said if only one pill bottle had been dropped off, it would have been a success.
He said the drugs collected during the event won't end up in up in landfills, flushed down toilets or remain in medicine cabinets where there's a risk children could get to them.
Wayman said he looks for his department to participate in another Drug Take-Back event. He said there may be another one in the fall.
Kitchens said this was the third time the Leavenworth Police Department participated in a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. He said there's been a steady increase in public participation.
"People really do appreciate the program," he said.
He said there's really nothing for people to do with old medications other than throwing them away.
"It's much better for us to take it and dispose of it properly," he said.
The drugs turned in to the law enforcement agencies Saturday have been picked up by the DEA.
Leavenworth police Lt. Kevin Crim said the drugs collected at the Price Chopper site filled 12 garbage bags.
Wayman said the drugs turned in at Lansing City Hall filled five boxes and a bag.
In addition to law enforcement agencies, other organizations sponsored the local collection efforts.