Dover PD urges public to follow guidelines for drug drop box

Dover Police added a box in the front lobby to deposit unwanted prescription medications in November 2014. (Delaware State News/file photo)

Dover Police added a box in the front lobby to deposit unwanted prescription medications in November 2014. (Delaware State News/file photo)

DOVER — Referencing liquids and syringes specifically as non-disposable items Monday, Dover Police asked the public to follow proper guidelines for its drug drop box for unwanted prescription medications.

While not quantifying the amount of improperly deposited items, Dover Police spokesman Master Cpl. Mark Hoffman said in a news release, “In recent months, the department has received bulk disposal from businesses in Dover, as well as liquids, syringes, and other items that the box is not designed for.

“The Dover Police drug box is only for the disposal of non-liquid medications that citizens are looking to safely discard. We ask that businesses and clinics follow their proper protocols for disposal of medications and that liquids and syringes are not disposed of at the police department.”

The drop box, instituted in November 2014, is available to citizens 24 hours a day in the Dover Police Department front lobby “for the secure disposal of medications only,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

Cpl. Hoffman said the sources of improper dropoffs were unclear and “many of the items are not able to be tracked back to their origin. However, the way the items were packaged and the quantity make it obvious it was not personal use.”

Though items not designed for the box are then properly disposed of, Cpl. Hoffman said, “it creates a lot of work for our evidence technician and can come at an extra cost as well.”

Problems have arisen despite most dropoffs being made correctly, Cpl. Hoffman said. Police did not estimate the percentage of improper dropoffs opposed to correct ones, but confirmed they have increased recently.

“The last thing we want to do is restrict access or shut the program down because a very small percentage of people are not following the guidelines,” Cpl. Hoffman said.

“This is a tremendous asset to our community and a tool to help us keep drugs from getting into the wrong hands. If issues continue to arise, then we may have to limit the hours and consider options to ensure that the guidelines are followed.”

Police noted online information at regarding biohazard and safe needle disposal dropoff events.

“You may also dispose of needles following state guidelines which is to place used needles in a household container, such as a laundry detergent or bleach bottle, or a sturdy, opaque plastic container with a screw-top lid,” Cpl. Hoffman said. “When the container is 3/4 of the way full, seal the lid with duct tape, label “DO NOT RECYCLE” and then place it in the regular trash.”

More information on Infectious Waste disposal is online at

Mostly, non-liquid medications in packets/blister packs and containers are properly deposited, police said.

While Dover Police won’t disclose details on how often the box is emptied, Cpl. Hoffman described it in general terms as “often.”

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