CPASA success: Up in smoke

CPASA (Community Partners Against Substance Abuse) Director Dawn Conerton was thrilled to announce the new purchase.

She confirmed the organization was able to use money from its reserves to help with the purchase. However, CPASA is still looking for donations to help make up the cost and also to help with the upkeep of equipment.


The incinerator is located at the Princeton Police Department. A fence and a shelter still needs to be built around the incinerator before it’s used.

As previously reported in the BCR and the Putnam County Record, the state made the decision to no longer dispose of prescription drugs, forcing CPASA to look into the purchase of an incinerator to continue its program, which allows residents to dispose of their unused prescription medications in a safe manner.

The cost of the incinerator came to around $10,000.

Since CPASA’s formation in July 2010, it has worked to keep unused prescription drugs off the street. Since September 2014, the program has collected and disposed of about 7,235 pounds of drugs.

Conerton explained how CPASA has worked hard to get the incinerator to help maintain the P2D2 program.

She said with the incinerator, CPASA will be able to continue educating the public about the safe way to dispose of drugs and remind them not to flush medication into the water supply.

“It hurts the water supply, and we also are getting them out of cupboards to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands,” she said. “We now have a way to actually dispose of them completely.”

With the incinerator, CPASA now plans to host more collection days to help get rid of even more unused medications.

Princeton Police Chief Tom Root was also thrilled with the arrival of the incinerator. He explained the incinerator can get up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and takes about 20 minutes to burn down the material. The drugs are burned down to a fine powder, which is bagged and taken to the landfill.

The incinerator arrived at about the right time, as Root said there is currently about 1,500 pounds of pills to dispose of from the Bureau and Putnam counties area.

Root said CPASA plans to charge a fee to communities who don’t provide a donation for the incinerator. The fees will help maintain the incinerator and help keep up with the purchase of diesel fuel.

CPASA is still looking for donations to help make up for the cost of the incinerator and to help continue the work CPASA does throughout the year.

“CPASA appreciates all the donations. We would never have believed in such a short amount of time this would be a reality,” Conerton said. “This community is so awesome with their support and knowing how important it was to help. It’s widespread and something that’s going to help everyone.”

CPASA is also hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 1, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Zearing Park. More details to come on the event.

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