Weather Alert  

AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT FROM 11 AM THIS MORNING TO 11 PM EDT THIS EVENING The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the following counties... Richmond...Kings...Queens...New York...Bronx...Westchester... Rockland...Nassau...and Suffolk. from 11 AM this morning to 11 PM EDT this evening. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an Air Quality Index value of 100 for the pollutant of Ground Level Ozone . The Air Quality Index...or AQI...was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value...the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated...the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young...and those with preexisting respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. A toll free air quality hotline has been established so New York residents can stay informed on the air quality situation. The toll free number is 1 800 5 3 5, 1 3 4 5.

Bellone, Suffolk and Town Officials Announce Partnership with Local Townships to Expand Operation Medicine Cabinet to Senior Centers

County Executive Cites Potential for Drug Abuse, Threat to Environment.

Print Email
Huntington, NY - March 27, 2014 - Today, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was joined by Suffolk and Town officials to announce the expansion of a program to collect and dispose of old or unneeded prescription medications to reduce drug abuse and protect the environment.
“As part of Suffolk County’s overall substance abuse initiative, Operation Medicine Cabinet will be expanded to include senior centers within the jurisdiction of the Suffolk County Police Department,” stated County Executive Bellone.  “With the expansion of the program we are providing more opportunities for Suffolk residents to shed the meds.”
The Police Department’s seven precincts already maintain receptacles where residents can anonymously drop off unwanted, unused or expired medications at a safe and secure location 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  The medications are then are then safely disposed of off-site. To date, the seven police precincts have collected 14,000 pounds of medications, which in turn keeps these medications out of the hands of those who could harm themselves and out of our waterways.
“This program is an innovative example of how Suffolk County is working hard to protect our drinking water and surface waters from contamination threats posed by the improper disposal of items in our medicine cabinet,” Bellone said. “It is also a great way to reduce drug abuse by taking these prescriptions out of circulation when they are no longer needed for legitimate purposes.”
Both local and nationwide studies have found evidence of medications, pharmaceuticals and personal care products in our waterways, as well as our groundwater, with potentially serious impacts to ecological and human health.
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Edward Webber said the drugs are disposed of in an  environmentally safe manner and said their removal would help remove the temptation to misuse drugs.
“This is an incredibly important initiative to protect our environment, the water we drink and to keep dangerous prescription drugs out of the hands of our young people,” said Suffolk County Legislator Steven Stern.  “There is such tremendous support for Operation Medicine Cabinet that after we hosted the last event, we were able to fill up two large bins of unwanted or unused medication.   The success of the program relies on you and your neighbors to participate.”
"While we all understand that for safety and groundwater protection reasons, it is important that we dispose of unneeded and outdated medications properly, it can be inconvenient to make a special trip to the disposal bin at the local police precincts,” said Huntington Supervisor Frank P. Petrone. “This new program will make it easier for seniors by bringing the disposal bins to where they are and not take them out of their regular routine."
Town Councilwomen Susan Berland and Tracey Edwards also spoke about the value of the program and encouraged seniors to check their cabinets to remove old or unneeded prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
The program will continue to expand to senior centers around the county on the first Wednesday of every month from 10-1 p.m. with a police officer present at these centers:
  • Babylon: North Amityville Sr. Center– 48-C Cedar Road, Amityville –
  • Huntington Sr. Nutrition Program – 423 Park Avenue, Room 105, Huntington 
  • Islip: Joyce Fitzpatrick Center– 50 Irish Lane, East Islip –
  • Brookhaven:  39 Montauk Highway, Blue Point, NY  -
  • Brookhaven: Rose Caracappa Sr. Center – 739 Route 25A, Mt. Sinai
  • Brookhaven: Brookhaven Mastic Community Center – 15 Herkimer Street, Mastic

The program begins April 2nd at all senior centers listed