By Carla Caldwell
A school paper John Burns wrote as a sophomore at Marist High School about pharmaceutical drugs making their way into public drinking water systems inspired the community service project he hopes will help earn him an Eagle Scout rank.
Burns, 17, of Dunwoody, a rising senior at Marist, will head a community service project July 17 at the Adult Recreation Center in Roswell to collect as much as 50 gallons of unused and unwanted prescription and veterinary drugs that might otherwise be disposed of improperly or abused.
The public is asked to drop by the center to dispose of prescription drugs that were not used and are not needed, as well as empty pill bottles. The drugs will be incinerated by Biotran Inc., a licensed medical waste management company.
Empty pill bottles will be donated to MedShare, a nonprofit organization that recovers, cleans, and redistributes surplus medical supplies and equipment to underserved health care facilities in developing countries.
“The goal is to take prescription drugs out of people’s homes and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way so that they will not harm the community or be abused.”– John Burns
“The goal is to take prescription drugs out of people’s homes and dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way so that they will not harm the community or be abused,” said Burns, whose parents are Peter and Dorothy Burns.
Troop 87 Scoutmaster Jimmy Stewart applauds Burns’ project selection and his work as a Scout. “I admire that he became interested in this topic a couple of years ago, has continued to think about it and found a way to help address the problem,” said Stewart.
Stewart also respects Burns as a leader. “There are three words that mean a lot to me, and they are integrity, character and honor. I can apply all of those to John Burns,” said Stewart. “He’s one of those strong, quiet leaders, a young man of character.”