For Immediate Release - October 24, 2013

Capeless receives award for RX roundup


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Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless Honored for Exceptional Leadership in Protecting People and the Environment from Improper Disposal of Drugs

Receives the ‘A Million Thanks’ award from Covanta Energy on the occasion of destroying one million pounds of prescription medications nationwide

Pittsfield, Massachusetts, October 24, 2013 – Covanta Energy, a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy, is honoring Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless in commemoration of the milestone attainment of the successful destruction of one million pounds of unwanted prescription medication. D. A. Capeless has partnered closely with Covanta Energy and their nationally recognized Prescription for Safety Program (Rx4Safety™) to achieve this milestone and was recognized for exceptional leadership in protecting local residents and the environment from the improper disposal of drugs. The District Attorney’s commitment to this cause has undeniably helped Covanta reach the important milestone for disposing of one million pounds of unwanted medications.

“I want to thank Covanta Energy for recognizing the Berkshire County effort in an important program that has helped take unwanted prescription medication off the streets.  I accept this award as just one person involved in the Berkshire County Rx Roundup.  Without the efforts of our local police departments, Berkshire Health Systems, Northern Berkshire Community Coalition, Berkshire United Way, South Berkshire Community Coalition, Pittsfield Prevention Partnership, Berkshire Environmental Action Team, CHP  (Community Health Partners), Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Newspapers and our local radio stations we would not have been as successful as we have been.  I also want to thank everyone who has volunteered their time and effort – local pharmacists, emergency personnel and ambulance companies - to help us collect the unwanted prescription medication in our semi-annual prescription roundups.  This was a truly community-based effort, with great benefits for the community.  I hope that Berkshire County will respond to the next roundup scheduled for this Saturday, October 26th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in as great numbers as they have in the past,” said Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless.

Prescription drug related deaths now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in over half of U.S. states. The Berkshire County Rx Round Up is addressing this epidemic by providing Berkshire County residents safe and convenient locations to safely dispose unwanted or expired prescription medications. Once collected, the drugs are in turn properly destroyed via Covanta’s Rx4Safety program and turned into safe and clean energy at Covanta Pittsfield, free of charge. This ensures unwanted prescription drugs are kept off of the streets and out of drinking water.

“Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and the Rx4Safety program provides people with a safe and environmentally-sound way to dispose of unwanted prescription medications, keeping them out of the hands of potential drug abusers,” said John G. Waffenschmidt, Covanta Energy vice president of environmental science and community affairs. “Thanks to the efforts of District Attorney Capeless and other leaders, we have reached this major milestone, protecting both people and the environment from the improper disposal of drugs.”  

When flushed down the drain or disposed of in landfills, medications enter waterways and contaminate surface waters, having an adverse effect on our drinking water and the environment. In addition, unused medication in the household may contribute to the growing rates of prescription drug abuse among Americans, particularly teenagers. The Rx4Safety program provides people across the country with a way to safely dispose of unwanted drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, veterinary medications and nutritional supplements, at no cost to the tax payer, through collaboration with local municipalities to organize free drop-off events.  Once collected, the drugs are properly destroyed free of charge via Covanta’s Energy-from-Waste process and turned into clean, safe energy at a Covanta Energy-from-Waste (EfW) facility, ensuring unwanted prescription drugs are kept off of the streets and out of drinking water. These facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art combustion controls and air pollution control equipment to ensure environmentally sound destruction. 

For more information, please visit     

About the Prescription for Safety Program (Rx4Safety)

Covanta’s Rx4Safety program assists groups holding drug take-back events with environmentally sound disposal of prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, veterinary medications and nutritional supplements using the Energy-from-Waste process to protect our water supply, while creating clean electricity in the process. 

Municipalities interested in participating in Covanta’s program must obtain appropriate regulatory approvals to ensure that such wastes are not classified as hazardous waste from a federal, state, or local perspective. Each prospective program is subject to a due diligence review by Covanta Energy.

About Covanta

Covanta is a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy. The Company’s 45 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities and businesses around the world with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta’s modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into clean, renewable electricity to power one million homes and recycle over 430,000 tons of metal. Energy-from-Waste facilities reduce greenhouse gases, complement recycling and are a critical component to sustainable solid waste management. For more information, visit

Covanta Energy


James Regan