Southampton Town Police Department in Hampton Bays. (May 17, 2012)

Southampton Town Police Department in Hampton Bays. (May 17, 2012) Credit: Randee Daddona

Police departments across the East End are putting out medication “drop boxes” in their headquarters in a joint project with the Group for the East End to reduce the problem of drugs and medicines getting into the groundwater supply.

Group president Bob DeLuca said the system will provide a needed alternative to flushing drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage, which can lead to groundwater contamination.

People using the drop boxes will not have to identify themselves when they drop off expired or unwanted over-the-counter or prescription drugs. The program is not for used hypodermics, medical waste or mercury thermometers.

The Southold, Southampton, East Hampton and Shelter Island police have installed the boxes, and Riverhead is implementing the program. Village police in East Hampton, Sag Harbor and Westhampton Beach are also participating.

Most departments will accept medications round-the-clock, although some will have limited hours. A full schedule can be found on the group’s website,

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