Nearly 3,300 pounds of unused medications were safely disposed of by the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office in late September.

Since the county started its "pill burn" program in 2014, 38,780 pounds of unused medicines have been safely destroyed, said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's office.

He said when the program first began, there were only two drop boxes available. He said the county had no idea of the amount of unused prescription drugs that it would collect — maybe a few hundred pounds. But the first collection alone  brought in 2,200 pounds, he said.

Della Fave said the prosecutor's office has had almost a dozen pill burns in the past four years.

"It's unbelievable how much unused medication sit in people's cabinets," he said.

He said there is absolutely no excuse not to clean out your cabinets and drop off unused medicines at secure drop off boxes around Ocean County. Among them are the lobbies of most police departments in Ocean County. Don't worry about how the drugs are packaged. You will not be asked any questions.

"Then what happens is, the local PD each and every day clears that box, does an inventory of what's collected, turns them over to us, then they are taken to an undisclosed location where they are burnt and destroyed," Della Fave said.

A box truck is rented every time they do a burn because the prosecutor's office receives boxes and boxes of unused prescription drugs, he said.

Della Fave urged residents not to flush drugs down the toilet. There is concern that they could get into the water system. You also don't want to put them in the garbage, just like you don't want to put any mail that can be utilized to get identification.

Della Fave also said the Ocean County Prosecutor's office has even contacted funeral parlors. The county has a large senior population. Della Fave said when people die, folks go in to clean out their apartments and find tons of unused medications. The problem is they don't know what to do with them.

So the funeral parlors are handing out cards to relatives of the deceased that direct them how to dispose of the medications and where to go.

For more information, call OCPO Lt. Cindy Boyd at 732-929-2027.

To find a full list of drop off sites in Ocean County, see the state Consumer Affairs website at  or the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office website.

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