What can I drop in the box?
- All unused and unwanted medications are accepted, but;
- NO SHARPS! For Sharps disposal information, visit the HHW page.
Any special procedures?
- If medications are in a glass container, put them in a padded envelope provided at the drop box before depositing.
- You do not need to remove any identifying labels from the bottles. Privacy is of highest importance and the labels are never viewed.
- For large quantities, please call (320) 259-3700 to arrange disposal.
- This program is for household use, not commercial. Businesses should contact their waste management vendor for medication disposal information.
What happens to the medications?
It's a very simple process after you make the drop:
- each day officers package the dropped medications
- the packages are locked away in secure storage
- as quantities grow the packages are boxed, weighed and incinerated
Why use the drop box?
This process incinerates the medications rather than having them flushed or end up in landfills, both of which end up in the water supply. Disposing of medications also keeps them out of the hands of people who may abuse these drugs.
Over the last few years this program has incinerated thousands of pounds of unused/unwanted medications in Stearns County:
- 2011 - 1,513 pounds (6 months)
- 2012 - 2,334 pounds
- 2013 - 4,280 pounds
- 2014 - 4,005 pounds
- 2015 - 4,451 pounds (as of 11/24)
Who provides the drop boxes?
This program is an effort of law enforcement and environmental agencies nationwide. Locally the program is provided by the Sheriff's Office and Environmental Services department and funded through a Household Hazardous Waste tax. The boxes are built by local company American Security Cabinets.
Dan Pearson and the Justin Pearson Foundation have been very instrumental in promoting this project and we are grateful for their continued support. In 2015 the Justin Pearson Foundation hosted a golf tournament to raise funds to provide medication disposal boxes for every police agency in the tri-county area that requested one. Enough funds were raised to purchase these requested boxes.