Recognition celebrates milestone attainment of destruction of one million pounds of unwanted prescription medication

covanta-logoMorristown, NJ, October 22, 2013 – Covanta Energy, a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy, is celebrating the milestone attainment of its Prescription for Safety (Rx4Safety™) program’s successful destruction of one million pounds of unwanted prescription medication by honoring partners and advocates from across the country with its ‘A Million Thanks’ award. Launched in 2010, Rx4Safety has benefitted from a shared commitment with law enforcement, government and non-governmental organizations and concerned individuals  who have worked tirelessly to keep unused and expired prescription drugs out of the hands of our nation’s youth and out of our drinking water.  The award recognizes exceptional leadership in mobilizing support and bringing attention to this important issue.

“Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and the Rx4Safety program provides people with a safe and environmentally-sound way to dispose of unwanted prescription medications, keeping them out of the hands of potential drug abusers,” said John G. Waffenschmidt, Covanta Energy vice president of environmental science and community affairs. “Thanks to the efforts of leaders, at both the local and national levels, we have reached this major milestone, protecting both people and the environment from the improper disposal of drugs.”

Prescription drug related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in over half of U.S. states. 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.

“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 Oklahoma 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.”

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, stated, “Preventing drug abuse, protecting our environment and safeguarding our public health is a great campaign that benefits us all. Covanta has partnered with municipalities throughout the Nation to make it safe, easy, and affordable to properly dispose of unused pharmaceuticals.  Drugs should only be prescribed from our doctor, not come from our tap. The more safe disposal options available, the less drugs will end up contaminating our waters or in the hands of those battling drug addictions.”

The Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) upcoming National Prescription Drug Take Back-Day on October 26th will further contribute to the amount of medications which Covanta has processed. These DEA take back days have been an integral component of Covanta’s program. For more information on how to participate at the upcoming take back day, visit

The Rx4Safety program provides people across the country with a way to safely dispose of unwanted drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, veterinary medications and nutritional supplements, at no cost to the tax payer, through collaboration with local municipalities to organize free drop-off events.  Once collected, the drugs are properly destroyed free of charge via Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste process and turned into clean, safe energy at a Covanta Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facility, ensuring unwanted prescription drugs are kept off of the streets and out of drinking water. These facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art combustion controls and air pollution control equipment to ensure environmentally sound destruction.

Covanta is pleased to honor and thank all advocates who have worked tirelessly to promote take-back programs in their communities. A full list of honorees can be found at .

About the Prescription for Safety Program (Rx4Safety)

Covanta’s Rx4Safety program assists groups holding drug take-back events with environmentally sound disposal of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, veterinary medications and nutritional supplements using the Energy-from-Waste process to protect our water supply, while creating clean electricity in the process.

Municipalities interested in participating in Covanta’s program must obtain appropriate regulatory approvals to ensure that such wastes are not classified as hazardous waste from a federal, state, or local perspective. Each prospective program is 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

Covanta Energy

James Regan

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