GRCC joins Kent County's SafeMeds program

July 25, 2018 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. Expired or unwanted medicines can be dangerous, but the Grand Rapids Community College Police Department can help you get rid of them.

A secure drop box has been installed at Campus Police headquarters, 25 Lyon St. NE, where you can anonymously drop off unneeded and expired prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, pet medicine and medicated ointments and lotions. Collected items will be incinerated.

Campus Police Chief Rebecca Whitman said she became award of the SafeMeds program, a partnership with the Kent County Department of Public Works, through area law enforcement colleagues. 

“I was so glad when GRCC reached out to us," said Megan Kretz, resource recovery specialist at the Department of Public Works. "Ease and convenience of disposal for unwanted and expired medications is a focus for us. This new drop location will be very convenient for students, staff and faculty.”

Whitman said the partnership is a way to serve the community -- and make it safer.

"Our country is facing a serious opioid crisis," she said. "This is an opportunity to reduce the accessibility of these medications, which can be dangerous, especially if used improperly. It's also better for our environment."

GRCC's Student Life office funded installation of the drop box. Before bringing your medicine to the drop box, block out all identifying personal information on the prescription -- but do not remove the name of the medication. Medications can be packaged together in small baggies for disposal.

The SafeMeds drop box can be used by GRCC staff and students -- and anyone in the community. It is for residential medications only and cannot be used by businesses and pharmacies. Inquiries into medication donation and needle or sharp object disposal can be directed to Kretz at (616) 632-7941.

The GRCC drop box will be available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays. Weekend hours vary so please call ahead to (616) 234-4010 to make sure the office is open. 

The SafeMeds program is a collaboration of local pharmacies, area law enforcement, the Grand Rapids Water Resource Recovery Facility, Wyoming's Clean Water Plant and other government agencies to provide residents with a safe and convenient way to dispose of unwanted medicine.  

Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.

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