Unwanted medicine drop-offs are now permanentPermanent drop-boxes for free disposal of unwanted medicines and expired prescription drugs are now available in the Twin Ports for the first time.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Permanent drop-boxes for free disposal of unwanted medicines and expired prescription drugs are now available in the Twin Ports for the first time.
The Western Lake Superior Sanitary District has partnered with police departments in Duluth, Hermantown, Proctor and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office to host the drop-boxes in their lobbies.
The drop-offs are an effort to get the medications out of the home, where they could become a poisoning issue, and to keep them out of the wastewater stream where they could affect local waterways. Officials urge people not to flush unwanted medicines down the drain because wastewater treatment systems aren’t designed to remove them and many are showing up in waterways.
The boxes will be available on weekdays all year. Until now, the WLSSD has held special events to accept unwanted and expired prescription drugs.
The Take it to the Box drop-box is similar to a mailbox. Residents can simply open the drop-box door, place packaging and medicines in the box, and close the door. Residents should keep medications in their original containers if possible and place in a sealed, clear plastic bag. A marker can be used to cross out identifying information. All prescription, over-the-counter and pet medications from households are accepted.
The drop-off boxes are at the Duluth Police Department/St. Louis County Sheriff Public Safety Building at 2030 Arlington Ave. in Duluth, near the Chris Jensen Health & Rehabilitation Center, open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Hermantown Police Department, 5111 Maple Grove Road, open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and the Proctor Police Department, 100 Pionk Drive, open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Needles, syringes, lancets and thermometers are not accepted. These items may be brought to the WLSSD Household Hazardous Waste facility at 27th Avenue West. Medications from businesses are not accepted at drop-boxes; businesses may call the WLSSD Clean Shop program at (218) 726-1602.
WLSSD will continue to offer its Medicine Cabinet Clean-out Days drive-through collection events at its Household Hazardous Waste Facility on 27th Avenue West.
Funding for the drop-boxes came from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.