SOURCE: Covanta Energy

Covanta Energy

October 14, 2013 11:46 ET

'A Million Thanks' to the State of Oklahoma for Exceptional Leadership in Protecting People and the Environment From Improper Disposal of Drugs

Covanta Recognizes Governor Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics on the Occasion of Destroying One Million Pounds of Prescription Medications

TULSA, OK--(Marketwired - Oct 14, 2013) - In commemoration of the milestone attainment of the successful destruction of one million pounds of unwanted prescription medication, Covanta Energy and its nationally recognized Prescription for Safety Program (Rx4Safety™) has recognized Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and the State of Oklahoma for exceptional leadership in encouraging residents and providing a means to safely dispose of these potentially harmful substances.

Launched in 2010, Rx4Safety has benefitted from a shared commitment with prestigious organizations and individuals across the country to keep unused and expired prescription drugs out of the hands of our nation's youth and out of our drinking water. One tangible result of this commitment has been the successful partnership among the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics' (OBN) "Safe Trip for Scripts" program, Covanta Tulsa and Oklahoma leaders including Governor Fallin, which has been a huge contributor to reaching this important milestone.

"I'm extremely proud of our efforts to combat prescription drug abuse in the State of Oklahoma and would like to thank Covanta Energy for this special recognition," said Governor Mary Fallin. "The unique partnership between the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Covanta is achieving significant results. Moving forward, we must continue to be diligent in our fight to stop this epidemic."

In Oklahoma, prescription drug abuse is responsible for over 80 percent of deaths due to drug overdose and it kills more Oklahomans each year than motor vehicle accidents. The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics launched the "Safe Trip for Scripts" program on March 1, 2011 in an effort to address this epidemic. Through the installation of what has grown to be more than 145 permanent drug disposal metal containers located in police stations and sheriff department lobbies across the state, OBN has collected more than 45,000 pounds of prescriptions. Once collected, the drugs are properly destroyed via Covanta's Rx4Safety program and turned into safe and clean energy at Covanta's Energy-from-Waste facility in Tulsa, free of charge. This ensures unwanted prescription drugs are kept off of the streets and out of drinking water.

"The public-private partnership between Covanta Energy and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is the model of how success can be achieved by working in a collaborative manner," said R. Darrell Weaver, Director at the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. "Lives will be saved because of this prescription drug take back container and disposal program which is the only one of its kind in the nation. If we save one life, it will be worth it."

"Covanta Tulsa thanks Governor Fallin and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics for their unwavering support to this issue, as they have been a major factor in helping Covanta reach this milestone of destroying one million pounds of unwanted prescription drugs," said Matthew Newman, business manager at Covanta Tulsa. "It is an honor for us to be able to provide this valuable service to the people of Oklahoma."

When flushed down the drain or disposed of in landfills, medications enter waterways and contaminate surface waters, having an adverse effect on our drinking water and the environment. In addition, unused medication in the household may contribute to the growing rates of prescription drug abuse among Americans, particularly teenagers. Covanta's Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art combustion controls and air pollution control equipment to ensure environmentally sound destruction that protects water resources and reduces the risk of drugs reaching unauthorized users. The collected drugs are combusted at high temperatures and are used to create electricity.

For more information, please visit 

For information on Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics drop off sites, please visit

About the Prescription for Safety Program (Rx4Safety)
Covanta's Rx4Safety program enables groups holding take-back events to ensure environmentally proper disposal of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, veterinary medications and nutritional supplements. In addition to properly managing the destruction of these unwanted drugs and protecting our clean water supply, collected drugs are used to create electricity. 

Municipalities interested in participating in Covanta's program must obtain appropriate regulatory approvals in order to ensure that such wastes are not classified as hazardous waste from a federal, state, or local perspective. Each program would be subject to a due diligence review by Covanta Energy.

About Covanta
Covanta is a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy. The Company's 45 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities and businesses around the world with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle over 430,000 tons of metal. Energy-from-Waste facilities reduce greenhouse gases, complement recycling and are a critical component to sustainable solid waste management. For more information, visit