This photo shows a previous Operation Pill Drop sponsored by Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful. This year’s event, on Sept. 17, will again give the public an opportunity to drop off electronics for recycling and old medications for proper disposal.
ALBANY, Ga. — In the course of four hours, Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful is hosting three events officials hope will encourage the public to be more environmentally friendly.
On Sept 17, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., KADB will conduct Operation Pill Drop, free electronic recycling and cartridge recycling, all in the back parking lot of the Albany Civic Center.
Items that will be accepted for electronics recycling include computer monitors, central processing units, laptops, printers, disk drives, TVs, floppy drives, record players, speakers, microwaves, stereos, copiers, VCR modems, phones and fax machines.
Hardrives received will be shredded down, and plastic and metal materials will be melted down. Reusable materials will stay in the United States, officials coordinating the event say.
Due to the process it takes to recycle a TV, a $10 fee will be charged for each set brought in — which goes to the removal of hazardous materials contained inside. Sets encased in wood cannot be accepted.
Items that also won’t be accepted include vacuum cleaners, stoves, refrigerators, washers, dryers, freezers and gas-powered non-electronic equipment.
“We don’t want your appliances. We want your electronics,” said KADB Executive Director Judy Bowles.
The electronic recycling event has been ongoing for eight years. Since then, roughly 500 tons of electronic material have been diverted from area landfills.
“We are always amazed at the response,” Bowles said. “The electronics recycling is always a successful event.
“The citizens are committed to doing the right thing. You should never put in a landfill what can be re-used somewhere else. It keeps your disposal fee low and keeps it low for the next generation.”
Operation Pill Drop, which allows people to drive through and drop-off old medications, is now in its second year.
Last year, the community brought in more than 300 pounds of medication. Some of the products received are no longer on the market or had expiration dates as far back as 1965.
“People may have pills they have had a long time but don’t know how to get rid of them,” Bowles said.
The one thing officials strongly emphasize about medications is to never flush them down the toilet.
“Water treatment plants are not set to take drugs out of water,”
Law enforcement officials are hopeful that a large crowd will take advantage of the opportunity to get rid of their old medications for a number of reasons. One important reason is to ensure they stay out of the wrong hands — whether they be children going through medicine cabinets or drug addicts.
“Drugs cause many problems. Anytime we get them off the street, we might prevent an overdose,” said Dougherty County Sheriff Kevin Sproul. “About three-fourths of our inmates are addicts, and some thieves breaking into houses are looking for drugs.
“It’s just a win-win for the whole community.”
Those wishing to drop off medications can bring them in the original container, no questions asked. The medications are destroyed after they are received. The drop is being conducted in partnership with the Albany Police Department, the Dougherty County Police Department, the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office and the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit.
A new addition is the cartridge event, which will allow people to bring their used cartridges. Cartridge World is working in partnership with KADB on this segment.
Cartridges will be accepted by Cartridge World so they may be refilled and resold, Bowles said.
“They will be refilled so they can be used again, so that they are not in a landfill,” she said.
The decision to host all three events at once was primarily out of convenience for the public, officials say.
“It’s a magnificent opportunity for citizens to dispose of material,” Bowles said. “It just makes more sense to bring everything in one stop. It was to make it easy and convenient.
“Just load everything in the car and we’ll unload.”
Electronics account for 2-5 percent of landfill volume, but contribute up to 70 percent of toxins found in landfills.