St. Louis County drug drop-off collects 210 pounds of pillsThe effort to keep unused pharmaceuticals out of the trash and sewage systems in St. Louis County gathered 210 pounds of prescription drugs over the past three months.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
The effort to keep unused pharmaceuticals out of the trash and sewage systems in St. Louis County gathered 210 pounds of prescription drugs over the past three months.
The St. Louis County Environmental Services Department has seven “Take it to the Box” medication drop-off sites where residents can dispose of pills.
The drugs collected are then transported by deputies to a facility in Fosston, Minn., where they are incinerated. The county set up the medication drop-off sites earlier this year, with assistance from a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency grant.
The drop-off sites are an effort to keep pharmaceuticals out of the water system — if flushed down the drain, they often can’t be removed by sewage treatment. They also help keep drugs out of the garbage stream.
“We are thrilled to see that word is spreading and more people are taking advantage of these drop-off sites,” said Ted Troolin, director of Environmental Services. “By collecting and properly disposing of these medications, we are reducing the amount of drugs that could be involved in accidental poisonings, stolen or dumped in a way that could damage our environment.”
The county drop-off sites are at the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office in Virginia; Eveleth Police Department; St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office in Hibbing; Gilbert Police Department; Ely Police Department; and Babbitt Police Department.
There also are sites at the law enforcement center in Duluth and the Hermantown and Proctor police departments that are operated by the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District and not counted in the 210 pound total.