Community members turned up early to beat the crowds at the Santa Clarita Sheriff’s station’s second annual “Safe & Secure” collection event held at the College of the Canyons campus on Saturday. The event, which the city of Santa Clarita helped to sponsor, saw over 800 local residents come out to drop off personal documents for destruction, along with electronic waste for recycling and old medication for disposal.
“The huge turn-out for our growing event continues to show the terrific partnership that our Sheriff’s Station and the City shares with our local community,” explains Captain Anthony La Berge. “It is incredible to see the lines of people here with the large amount of items being dropped off today.”
Sheriff’s officials are calling the six-hour event a “total success” after four large trucks from Confidential Data Destruction were packed to capacity with over 1,600 boxes of personal documents dropped off by their owners. Old tax records, bank statements, cancelled checks and other papers were ultimately shred into tiny pieces before making their way to the final destination in the recycling process.
“This is a very green program that I am happy to share with our local community,” said Steven Sturgeon, owner of Confidential Data Destruction. “It is important for our residents to respond to the growing threat of information and identity theft and shredding personal documents in a safe and secure manner is a key component to protecting one’s identity.”
A new addition to this year’s event was the safe collection of unused medication. When the event was over, 33 large cartons of old medication had been collected and will be destroyed through the Sheriff’s Central Property unit. Sheriff’s officials hoped that the event would serve as a reminder that unneeded medication left in a home has potential for abuse or theft, and through programs such as this, the medication is not flushed in the toilet systems or thrown in landfills which could potentially affect the environment.
Another addition to the event was major assistance from Sheriff’s Academy class #377 with over 50 recruits lending their strength and energetic attitudes. The new personnel kept busy throughout the day greeting the participants and assisting to unload vehicles.
“It was a terrific opportunity for our recruits to help out with this community event,” explained Lt. Linda Becker of the Sheriff’s Recruit Training Bureau. “This gives them a chance to see that our Department is very well connected to serving our community through these special programs. All of the recruits, joined by their seven staff members, donated their time on a day off to come and help out, which shows the commitment of our future Deputies to public service.”
Ninety-six large pallets of televisions, monitors, computer processors, and other electronics filled the two large commercial trailers with no room to spare by the close of the day. Ron Buchammer from Electronic Recyclers based in Fresno estimated that over 50,000 pounds of electronic waste was collected in the half-day event. Safely disposing of electronics is not only good for the environment, but could prevent sensitive information stored in your computer from being compromised. Last year alone, Californians recycled over 200 million pounds of E-waste through a variety of recycling programs.
Based on the success of this event, the City and Sheriff’s plan to host a similar event in the fall, making this a semi-annual tradition in the Santa Clarita Valley.
For more information on upcoming events, check the Sheriff’s Department website at www.SCVSheriff.com  .
Photos courtesy of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.