Tehama County

Regular Item

HEALTH SERVICES AGENCY – Executive Director Valerie Lucero


Department:Landfill - BOSSponsors:


  1. Printout
  2. Sharps Ord Revised 6-19-18

Financial Impact

Requiring producers of pharmaceutical drugs and sharps to create, manage and fund a collection and disposal program for covered drugs and sharps in Tehama County will result in a decrease in departmental labor, management and disposal costs for the existing publically-funded unwanted drugs and sharps collection programs.


a)              ORDINANCE NO. 2061 - Creating Chapter 9.29 of the Tehama County Code relating to requirements for the collection and disposal of unwanted drugs and sharps

              1)  Waive the Second Reading

2)  Adopt the Ordinance



The Tehama County Pharmaceutical and Sharps Collection and Disposal Stewardship Ordinance is proposed in response to a growing need for preventative strategies that address substance abuse amongst Tehama County citizens. Stakeholder groups, including the Tehama County Health Services Agency, Tehama County Department of Education, Tehama County Sheriff’s Department, Tehama County Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board, Tehama County Solid Waste Management Agency, and the Tehama County Department of Environmental Health, revealed that a leading challenge is the lack of convenient disposal options for drugs and sharps, and the lack of a sustainable funding mechanism.


Use of prescription drugs is very prevalent among Americans, with almost half of the adult population taking at least one prescription drug, and three quarters of the senior population taking two or more. According to one study published in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, two out of three prescription drugs were reported to be unused. As a result of the vast amounts of unused or expired prescription drugs being so easily accessible, about 20%-30% of drug abusers in California primarily use prescription drugs. Nationwide, it is reported that nearly 70% of pain relievers that had been used for non-medical use were obtained from a friend or relative. Recent data shows that there are 1,120 opioid prescriptions for every 1,000 residents in Tehama County - 1.8 times the state average. Additionally, according to the Tehama County Health Services Agency, the most frequent use of drugs that are not prescribed to the individual is pain medications. Another nationwide trend that has been increasing is the report of emergency room visits from the misuse or abuse of prescription drugs, which more than doubled from 2004 to 2010. Nearly one half of the emergency room visits in 2010 involved pain relievers. Beginning in July 2016, St. Elizabeth Community Hospital began collecting data on the number of visits from the misuse or abuse of drugs amongst local residents. Within one year, a total of 84 overdoses have been reported, with 34 involving opiates. Additionally, results from the 2015-2016 Tehama County California Healthy Kids Survey indicated that prescription drugs came in third to alcohol and marijuana among drug use by Tehama County youth.


Beginning in 2008 and 2011, stakeholder groups began providing disposal options for home generated medical sharps and drugs, respectively, through a publicly funded sharps disposal program and DEA-funded semiannual temporary drug take-back events. During this time, a total of 2,802 pounds of medicine and annual average of 2,700 gallons of home-generated medical sharps were collected from the local public. In 2016 and 2017, permanent drug collection kiosks were placed at the Tehama County Sheriff’s Department and Corning Police Department, respectively. Within one year, a total of 255.5 pounds of medicine were collected from these two sites. The annual cost borne by the Tehama County Solid Waste Management Agency to maintain the sharps disposal program is approximately $20,000. Similarly, destruction of the collected drugs is also publicly funded. Additionally, statistics show that collections hosted by law enforcement only collect approximately 7% of the unused drugs in the community, indicating that existing programs are insufficient for demand.


The proposed ordinance would require manufacturers that sell drugs and sharps in Tehama County to develop, fund, and operate a program that would take back their product at its end-of-life, or participate in a stewardship organization that would develop, fund and operate a program that would take back their products at its end-of-life, thereby creating a sustainable program for Tehama County residents.  Similar programs in other jurisdictions cost less than one penny per $10.00 of medicine or sharps sold; however, the proposed ordinance explicitly requires that the manufacturers would not be able to recoup any cost through point-of-sale charges. Similar legislation has passed in California to manage paint, mattresses, and mercury-containing thermostats. Enforcement of the ordinance would be through administrative penalties, as assessed by code enforcement.

Meeting History

Jul 3, 2018 8:30 AM Audio Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting
draft Draft
MOVER:Steve Chamblin, Supervisor - District 1
SECONDER:Dennis Garton, Supervisor - District 3
AYES:Candy Carlson, Dennis Garton, Steve Chamblin, Bob Williams, Burt Bundy