After a one-year hiatus, residents April 24 were eager to dispose of unused drugs and documents at the Sun City Posse’s Take-Back-Drugs and Shred-A-Thon.
Another benefit of the day? It proved that we are taking steps to return to what-used-to-be a regular event.
It has been a struggle as assorted drugs and hundreds of pieces of paper and documents piled up during the year-long battle as homebound residents navigated the maze of COVID-19. Hopefully as people get vaccinated, continue to social distance and wear masks, it means that the Posse can get back to doing what it does best, help Sun City residents. The Take-Back-Drug and Shred-a-Thon is just a first step.
Volunteers with the Sun City Posse, in cooperation with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, were on duty to help dispose of those pesky drugs. Also on duty were members of the Sun City PRIDES and the Retirement Community Association. They were there to hand out information and to remind our residents that they are still here.
Sun City residents dropped off hundreds of bottles of unused drugs during the MCSO and Sun City Posse “National Take-Back Initiative.” The program also was sponsored by the Arizona Drug Enforcement Agency and the Sun City Home Owners Association.
Too often prescription drugs are left in medicine cabinets and cupboards, and after a one-year gap, our residents were ready to do some dumping. Medications in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning and flushing or trashed medicines can end up polluting Arizona waters.
Experts agree that take-back programs such as this one is a first choice. Law enforcement, public health and environmental professionals are united in support of take-back programs as the safest and most responsible way to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines.
Posse volunteers, including June Bryant and Cheryl Fallon, were busy dumping drugs into large bins under the watchful eye of a MCSO deputy. The collected medicines are sealed and then incinerated.
Lt. David Powers, who is in charge of traffic and patrol for the Posse, said cars were lined along Sunland Drive all the way to Agua Fria at 8 a.m. when we opened. The first rush of traffic included more than 250 cars, golf cars and a few people on motorcycles. During the next four hours there was a steady stream of traffic.
Dave Miller, Posse commander, said that he was pleased with the turnout.
“We not only are offering a community service by getting unused drugs out of our Sun City houses, but we also are helping to protect the environment,” he said.
While one half of the Sun City Posse headquarter parking lot was dedicated to collecting drugs, the other half was set up for unwanted trash. Assured Documents Destruction had three trucks on site and Sun City residents filled two of them. Posse member Steve Arnold and Bob Kish, who works for the document destruction company, were all smiles as they collected unwanted papers, flyers and documents that were then shredded.
On another part of the parking lot, PRIDES members had a tent set up and were handing out information about their organization. Have you ever noticed how clean Sun City is compared with other communities? Do you take note that there are no abandoned beer/soda cans or wads of paper on the streets or in the medians? That is because of the PRIDES. The group was organized in 1982 and its members work hard to keep the 210 miles of roads, parkways and medians in Sun City clean and neat, among other duties. So if you see a man or woman in a bright orange vest, chances are they are picking up trash, so take a moment and tell them thank you.
Another group on deck during the weekend event was the RCA, who also had volunteers standing by to hand out information about their group.
All in all it was a very successful weekend for Sun City. The residents disposed of unwanted items and the Posse, the PRIDES and RCA showed that they are back and willing to make Sun City the great community we have learned to love.
Editor’s Note: Diana Graettinger is Sun City Posse public information officer.