UNION COUNTY — More than 100 pounds of drugs collected by the Union County Sheriff’s Office over the past year met a fiery end Wednesday afternoon.
The “Drug Terminator” is an incinerator owned by the sheriff’s office which uses it to dispose of drugs confiscated by deputies in drug cases and prescription medication turned in by the public. Incineration is considered a more environmentally-friendly method of disposing of unwanted prescription medication than including them in garbage to be sent to a landfill or flushing them down the toilet.
On Wednesday, the Drug Terminator was fired up once again as the sheriff’s office used it to incinerate more than 100 pounds of drugs.
“It took us about two-and-a-half hours to dispose of what we’ve collected over the past year,” Sheriff David Taylor said.
Taylor said the items incinerated included drugs that his office had seized as evidence in drug cases and prescription medication turned in by the public, some of it during the DEA’s Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
“Part of it was illegal drugs from drug cases that have been disposed of in court,” Taylor said. “Some of it was the prescription drugs turned in during the drug take-back days over the past year.”
Both as part of the DEA’s Prescription Drug Take-Back events and on it own throughout the year, the sheriff’s office collects unwanted and/or expired medication for disposal with no questions asked. The medication can brought to the sheriff’s office in the basement of the Union County Courthouse between 8 a.m and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and placed in an old mailbox that now serves as a “Drug Drop Box.”
In addition to having to wait until the cases the drugs seized by investigators have been tried, Taylor said his office waited until Wednesday to use the incinerator because of the weather.
“The incinerator puts out a great deal of heat so we wait for cooler weather,” Taylor said. “We’ll probably do another incineration in March.”
Wednesday’s incineration has largely cleaned out the storage area where the drugs have been kept.
“Now that we’ve destroyed all of that we have plenty of room to store more until the next incineration,” Taylor said.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org