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Santa Barbara County: Recycle a Bicycle & Operation Medicine Cabinet

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Uploaded on Apr 26, 2011

Each year, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department collects dozens of bicycles, either through evidence, recovered unclaimed stolen property, or abandonment. In many cases, the bicycles are in need of minor repair or reconditioning. To get these bikes back on the road, the department started the Recycle a Bicycle Program, where Jail inmates enrolled in work programs refurbish the bikes and effect minor repairs. The program has grown over the years and, in 2009, 35 bicycles were refurbished and recycled to children and youth through the Unity Shoppe and the Good Samaritan Shelter programs. Recycle a Bicycle requires no budget, since inmates do the work. And, the positive publicity has resulted in several local citizens donating more bicycles which in turn are given to underprivileged children in the county.

Operation Medicine Cabinet
Medicines left unattended or improperly disposed are a danger to the community through rising, illegal drug use, accidental ingestion, or contamination of water supplies. To mitigate this problem, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department partnered with local cities and the Department of Public Works to create Operation Medicine Cabinet. A key component of the program was to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription and over the counter drugs and reduce the availability for misuse. Staff parlayed a modest $26,676 budget into a massive earned-media campaign that led to more than 1,300 pounds of unused medications being dropped off at various disposal sites throughout the county. As a result, the program has received plaudits from various organizations and television stations throughout the county.

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