[Pharmwaste] American Medicine Chest Challenge/SMARxT Disposal

Ed Gottlieb egottlieb at cityofithaca.org
Thu May 17 08:57:28 EDT 2012

I corresponded with and then spoke to executives at AMCC back in January.  My issues were:
1. They, along with Fish and Wildlife, were sponsors of the smarxtdisposal program, which prioritized the use of trash over take-back programs.
2. Their new on-line collection search engine had lots of problems.
3. Their partner agreement was far too restrictive.
Greg Startzel was my initial contact (see emails below.)  He then arranged a conference call so that I could speak with him and CEO, Angelo Valente.
1. Angelo said he had no influence over the smarxtdisposal website.  I'm happy to know that the smarxtdisposal website has finally been updated to reflect current policy.
2. They were very appreciative of my suggestions to improve their search engine and had already made changes when I spoke with them.  The information it contains is by no means complete due to their reliance on programs registering with them.  They seem to have the funds to actively maintain the data base.  I suggested they post to this Listserv to ask folks to register.  
I checked with Kate at the Product Stewardship Institute about the PSI listing of collections.  They do not have the resources to maintain a full and current listing.  The sampling PSI provides is meant to assist those setting up a collection.  She referred me to Earth911.com for a more complete listing (Kate, please correct me if I got any of this wrong.)  I contacted Earth911 with a couple of questions including how search terms were cross referenced.  If I recall correctly, I then posted a question to this Listserv about the best ways for collection events to do outreach and if a national database was desirable.  
Our collection event survey data show that most consumers hear about (or found) our events from our local outreach efforts.  The percent who found our five events from a Listseve (we posted to many local ones) OR the internet were:  10.1, 7.7, 10.3, 9.2, & 8.4   
I conclude that organizers should focus on local outreach and not count on a national listing to get the word out about local collection/disposal options.  It is my opinion that the AMCC effort will remain inadequate due to incomplete listings.  If they drop their branding effort and focus on ease of registration it might become a useful tool.   
3. They seemed to understand why I couldn't sign their restrictive agreement.  Sorry, I don't recall if they didn't see a need to change the agreement or couldn't change it for some reason.
Hope this helps.

Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal 
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator 
Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 273-8381
fax: (607) 273-8433
Good Morning Ed,
Angelo said he would be available at 12pm for a phone call. We will call you
at (607) 273-8381 unless you would rather a different number.
-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Gottlieb [mailto:egottlieb at cityofithaca.org] 
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 12:26 PM
To: Greg Startzel
Subject: RE: Pharmwaste List
Hi Greg,
I would have some time to talk with your Executive Director before 1 PM
(EST) on Friday.  Otherwise, next week sometime.
I took another quick look at your already improved site.  Had a question
about the content in the link from:
"Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at
an American Medicine Chest Challenge Disposal site." 
You organization is a supporter of the program at
http://www.smarxtdisposal.net/.  The priority given on that site to the
trash disposal option does not mesh with government guidelines.  The Fish
and Wildlife Service, another sponsor of the smarxtdisposal program, agree
(see attached).  Would you urge your Executive Director to join with Fish
and Wildlife to change the content?  Take-back options need to be
prioritized over trash disposal.  Thank you for your consideration.
Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal Industrial Pretreatment
Coordinator Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-8381
fax: (607) 273-8433
>>> "Greg Startzel" <greg at americanmedicinechest.com> 1/23/2012 11:23 AM 
>>> >>>
Good Morning Ed,
Excuse the delayed follow up to our conversation on Friday. Your suggestions
were great and we are implementing them. I would like to schedule some time
this week to speak with you further. I am waiting for our CEO, Angelo
Valente, to return so I can determine his schedule. As I mentioned on
Friday, I have attached/included Covanta Energy's contact info and press
release re: their incineration of collected drugs. 
>From Ken Armellino, Director, Environmental Science and Community Affairs
Covanta Energy Corporation
445 South St, Morristown, NJ   07960 
Please note that not all Covanta Facilities can participate due to state
regulations, permits, and service contracts.   I have listed below those
which have or are set up to participate already.  If there are any groups
that are close to a Covanta facility NOT listed, they can email the contact
on the fact sheet to see if the facility is eligible.  Also, please note
that some facilities may have size/handling or delivery restrictions, so
participating communities should contact us as much in advance of the event
as possible.    
Covanta MacArthur (Islip, NY)
Covanta Niagara (Niagara Falls, NY)
Covanta Marion (Brooks, OR)
Covanta Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN)
Covanta Haverhill (Haverhill, MA)
Covanta SEMass (Rochester, MA)
Covanta Springfield (Agawam, MA)
Covanta Pittsfield (Pittsfield, MA)
Covanta Lake (Okahumpka, FL)
Covanta Huntsville (Huntsville, AL)
Covanta Honlulu (Kapolei, HI)
Covanta SeConn (Preston, CT)
Covanta Dade (Doral, FL)
Thanks again,
-----Original Message-----
From: Ed Gottlieb [mailto:egottlieb at cityofithaca.org] 
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 11:05 AM
To: greg at americanmedicinechest.com 
Subject: Pharmwaste List
Hi Greg,
Good talking to you.  
Here is the Listserv information to get your press release posted.
Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal Industrial Pretreatment
Coordinator Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY  14850
(607) 273-8381
fax: (607) 273-8433
>>> <pharmwaste-request at lists.dep.state.fl.us> 1/17/2012 1:20 PM >>>
Send Pharmwaste mailing list submissions to...

>>> Mary Rice <Mary.Rice at putnamcountyny.gov> 5/15/2012 11:06 AM >>>
We tried working with them once, a year or two ago.  We found their advertising requirements to be too restrictive for our purposes, and have chosen to go it on our own since then.  There just didn't seem to be sufficient benefit to partner with them.

Mary Rice
Putnam County, NY

-----Original Message-----
From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Amy.Roering at co.hennepin.mn.us
Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:46 AM
To: Lucy, Burke
Cc: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: [Pharmwaste] American Medicine Chest Challenge/SMARxT Disposal


Has anyone had contact with American Medicine Chest Challenge (PhRMA)? http://www.americanmedicinechest.com/

AMC links to the SMARxT Disposal web site & vice versa.  AMCC's web page posts a national drop-off locater.  But in order to be listed, you have to
agree to its partnership agreement.
     I acknowledge that this partnership agreement is made between AMCC and said individual/community group. I/My         
     organization agree to fully utilize the American Medicine Chest Challenge media components to the fullest extent     
     possible. AMCC web banners will be placed on web site(s) of partnering organizations. All effort will be made to     
     collaborate with local law enforcement to establish collection sites following all local, state, and federal         
     guidelines/protocols. (Law enforcement must complete Law Enforcement Partnership Agreement). We will serve as media  
     contacts for AMCC in the communities we service. This agreement is executed upon checking "I Agree" and submitting   
     the form.                                                                                                            

Amy Roering
Hennepin County | Department of Environmental Services | MC L-609
701 Fourth Avenue South, Suite 700 | Minneapolis, MN 55415
Office phone (612) 348-8992 | Cell phone (612) 382-5790
Faxes (612) 348-6510 & (612) 348-8532
amy.roering at co.hennepin.mn.us

From:"Lucy, Burke" <Burke.Lucy at CalRecycle.ca.gov>
To:"pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us" <pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us>
Date:05/14/2012 07:54 PM
Subject:RE: [Pharmwaste] USFWS updating medicine disposal guidance -response to comment letter
Sent by:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us

It appears that the SMARxT Disposal website (http://www.smarxtdisposal.net/) no longer has the video or language only saying throw pharmaceutical
waste in the trash (which it had last week).  They've added, "Take advantage of community drug take-back programs..." which is now in line with the U.S.
DEA, EPA, FDA, and White House ONDCP policy.  Thanks to Margaret Shields for spearheading the sign-on letter to the USFWS for getting that process

            Last Week                                                                                                     Today
(Embedded image moved to file: pic10666.jpg)(Embedded image moved to file: pic26250.jpg)


From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Shield, Margaret
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2012 3:11 PM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: [Pharmwaste] USFWS updating medicine disposal guidance - response to comment letter

Greetings.  In early November I shared with this listserv a comment letter sent to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service explaining concerns about the SMARxT
medicine disposal program, a collaboration between USFWS, APhA, and PhRMA.  That comment letter had more than fifty signatories representing local
agencies, law enforcement, elected officials, and individuals who encouraged USFWS to bring their medicine disposal guidance in line with other
federal agencies that recommend use of medicine take-back programs.  Additional comment letters were sent in by individual agencies and organizations.

Good news: the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has responded positively to address our concerns.  See the attached response. USFWS says they will be
updating the program to encourage the use of medicine take-back programs, stating:

      "Given these developments and the fact the Administration has elevated the medication disposal issue as a public health concern, we are bringing
      the SMARxT Disposal campaign up-to-date with the current guidance and encourage the use of medicine take-back programs where available, while
      clarifying that disposal of unwanted medicines in the household trash is a transitional measure until drug take-back systems are available to
      all communities."

We hope to see that updated guidance on the SMARxT website and materials soon.  This change will provide clearer, consistent information to consumers
about safe disposal of leftover medicines.

Thanks to all who worked on this!

Margaret Shield PhD, Policy Liaison
Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County
130 Nickerson Street, Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98109-1658
(w) 206-263-3059

Protect Our Kids, Families, and Environment - www.TakeBackYourMeds.org
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