Get rid of those drugs

Published 8:14 am Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Editorial by J David Derosier


Keep Orange County Beautiful (KOCB) has been around here a lot longer than I have. I first became affiliated with the organization about ten years ago. Their main focus is on “Trees and Trash”. A major element of their focus on trash is for recycling.

A few years back, with the help of Southeast Texas Resource Conservation & Development program, KOCB ran a couple of electronic waste pickups in Orange, collecting more than 30,000 pounds of electric and electronic waste – everything from TVs and computers to air conditioners and refrigerators.

KOCB is now asking Orange residents to think about the medicines that may be sitting around in bathroom and kitchen cabinets at home; the ones you aren’t using. These drugs are at risk of both theft and misuse – leading to abuse, or just being dumped in the trash. If dumped in the trash they can pollute our ground water and potentially our drinking water.

Most Americans are unaware of proper disposal of these unused drugs and may even just dump them down the toilet – again, polluting our waters and creating safety hazards

A good friend of the environment and a great friend to KOCB, Michael Hoke had an idea in the 1990s for a nature classroom on Adams Bayou. Together with the Stark Foundation, that became the basis for what has become a world-class environmental venture – Shangri La Botanical Gardens.

After many years of community service to the environment, to youth, and teaching, Mike passed away in January of this year. His widow, Sandra Hoke, besides being a master gardener and volunteer with many local groups, is a board member of KOCB.

She told us that, “After the death of my husband, I had a lot of prescriptions that were no longer needed. I called the hospital in Orange for information on the correct way to dispose of prescriptions and the hospital pharmacist gave me the website for the National Take Back Program where I found out the Orange Police Station would be the collection site for unneeded prescriptions on April 30, 2016 from 10:00 to 2:00”, said Sandra.

Keep Orange County Beautiful strongly urges all residents in the area to take a look around their homes for unused and unwanted drugs and bring them to the Orange Police Station on Saturday April 30th for proper disposal. Be safe, don’t pollute.

While we’re on the subject of recycling, Sandra Hoke went on to say that, “there are some little known places to recycle many of the items that get sent to the landfill by way of our garbage cans. You never see them advertised to let the public know about this possible way to recycle. I found out about it by way of a friend. I am in hopes if more people know about it there will be more recycling done in Orange.”

She tells us that in Orange County at the old dump site on 1442 there are 3 to 4 dumpsters for recycling at no cost to the individual. Things that can be recycled here include: cardboard, newspaper, junk mail, cereal boxes, anything paper, plastic 1-7 (found in a triangle usually on the bottom of the item), and metal cans.

On Highway 62, north of I-10, S & S Metal buys aluminum cans and also pays for some metals such as copper and steel. First Methodist Church recycled some copper and steel down spouts after remodeling and received over $600.00 from S & S Metal.

Target stores in both Beaumont and Port Arthur have a recycle bin for glass.

Waste Management has a large recycle location at 1995 Cedar St (corner of 4th Street) in Beaumont with large bins for everything except glass. They also pay for aluminum cans.

And while I’m talking about Sandra, she is the one behind what is being called “The Field of Plenty”. This is a project of Orange Christian Services to build a community garden where people can come together to cultivate the land as a group rather than a single individual or family.

The garden is located immediately behind Orange Christian Services and is intended to service the needs of OCS clients as well as sharing fresh vegetables with the local network of church soup kitchens.

Volunteers and donations are needed to make this successful. KOCB supports their efforts and suggests you contact them at or show up on April 30th at 8:30 am to HELP RAISE THE BED.

When you’re done helping The Field of Plenty, head on over to the Orange Police Station to drop off your old prescription and non-prescription drugs.


J David Derosier is a retired technology professional and worked for several years in a business that developed technology to prevent the use of cellular devices in restricted areas, without jamming. Prior to that he worked with Fortune-500 companies in Information Security (InfoSec) with a global focus on National Security. Today he consults with small business on planning and marketing issues, and provides web design and hosting services. He can be reached at