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Municipalities & Government

Unused medications lead to drug abuse and environmental contamination—their safe collection is essential to municipalities in curbing an epidemic.

Unused medications lingering in homes can rapidly lead to drug abuse and addiction; improper disposal by flushing drugs down the drain or discarding them in landfills threatens the water supply and environment.

The Statistics Are Alarming:

  • Four in five new heroin users started out misusing prescription painkillers. (Source: American Society of Addiction Medicine: Opioid Addiction 2016 Facts and Figures)
  • 46 million people in the US have drugs in their drinking water. (Source: Associated Press 2008)

Unused medications pose a very real danger, and the task of dismantling that threat can be a daunting one for any community.

Although there is heightened awareness among legislators and constituents of the need to be proactive in counteracting and alleviating these health and safety issues, the best means to meet that need is not always as clear. This is largely due to the fact that there is no “best means,” but rather a spectrum where the top solutions are as diverse and adaptable as the issues they are up against.

Our Custom Solutions

Covanta Environmental Solutions recognizes that and offers a wide range of DEA compliant solutions that are customizable for each community’s needs. These solutions provide a number of options to effectively reach consumers in safe and convenient environments.

  • Mail-in boxes and envelopes are available for distribution throughout your area.
  • Secure collection kiosks with DEA compliant and DOT-permitted liners are available for placement in a variety of locations.
  • We provide pharmaceutical waste disposal and destruction services to an array of municipalities, law enforcement agencies and other facilities across the county.

We’re also available to respond to RFPs, provide training, create programs to help you support DEA compliant collection and destruction and aid you in responding to county, state and municipal Extended Producer Responcibility (EPR) legislation—all through a process that suits you best.

Covanta’s Competitive Advantage

Covanta and Covanta Environmental Solutions have a long-established history of partnering with municipalities and managing public contracts for counties, towns, and states throughout the United States.

A Leading Provider: We are proud to be known as a leading provider of environmental solutions across a wide range of industries. Our services help solve some of the toughest waste challenges faced by communities and businesses alike.

An Established DEA Partner: We’ve been managing the secure collection, disposal, and irretrievable destruction of consumer-discarded and facility-generated pharmaceutical waste through our owned and operated network of DEA Reverse Distributors and more than 40 Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facilities nationwide.

A Committed Neighbor: Covanta Environmental Solutions is committed to helping communities fight prescription drug abuse and the environmental impact of pharmacological waste.

Our Prescription for Safety (Rx4Safety) program, in partnership with the DEA, has provided safe disposal of medications collected at community-sponsored drug Take-back events. Since 2010, we’ve destroyed more than 4 million pounds of community collected drugs with this program.

A Sustainable Solution: We not only safely dispose of unwanted substances, we also generate clean energy for communities like yours. Our Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facilities provide safe, environmentally-sound destruction that protects water resources, creates renewable energy and reduces the risk of drugs reaching the wrong hands.


A Recognized Expert: Using a closed loop process that minimizes diversion points and maximizes compliance, we collect, transport, witness and certify the irretrievable destruction of over 10,000 tons of controlled substances annually—that’s more than 20 million pounds each year!

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For our services, we’ve been honored with numerous industry awards including:

  • The New York Environmental Leaders Program (NYEL) – for outstanding compliance with environmental laws
  • 2015 Outstanding Industry Leadership Award – for supporting product stewardship initiatives nationally

Convenient and Cost-effective

We’re dedicated to working with you to provide convenient, cost-effective solutions that address your community’s needs:

  • Collaboration with city, state, and local communities to form effective partnerships
  • Support of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation programs
  • End-to-end turnkey, DEA-compliant pharmaceutical waste solutions
  • Safe and secure collection, shipment and certified destruction of controlled Schedule II-V and non-controlled pharmaceutical waste

Protecting Tomorrow

With your community’s commitment and Covanta’s rich network of facilities and partnerships, we can alleviate the issues associated with unwanted pharmaceuticals—let’s work today to protect tomorrow.

Get Started Today

Contact us or call 844-544-3383 to discuss how we can work together to facilitate a program that works for your community.

Contact Us

“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. 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."

R. Darrell Weaver - Former Director at the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics

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