Hennepin County takes in 3 tons of unwanted meds in program’s first year

About 6,700 pounds of unwanted medicine was collected in the first year of a new Hennepin County disposal program.

The county began installing medicine disposal drop boxes last March. The program now has six boxes in libraries, law enforcement offices and courts.

The self-serve boxes provide an alternative to tossing old meds in the trash, says Lisa Kiava, spokesperson for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office.

Medication that’s thrown in the garbage could end up in public water supplies – or in the hands of people looking to sell or abuse it.

And given the widespread abuse of prescription painkillers, Kiava says, it’s important for people to securely dispose of any medication they no longer need.

Many people addicted to prescription painkillers will seek out homes that might have old meds, Kiava says.

“There are cases where people know someone has died of cancer … and will go and root through their garbage,” she says. “People will go to open houses just to search through someone’s medicine cabinet.”

The disposal program, run by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Hennepin County Environmental Services, incinerates the medication it collects.

medicine disposal box Cities blog post.JPG

(A Hennepin County employee demonstrates how to use the medicine disposal drop box in the lobby of the Public Safety Facility in Minneapolis. Photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

Anyone with household medications (with a few exceptions, outlined below) can use the boxes. There’s no charge, and you don’t need an I.D.

Here are the locations:

Brooklyn Center – Hennepin County District Court Brookdale

6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy., Brooklyn Center

Hours: Mon. – Thurs.: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri. – Sat.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.

Brooklyn Park – Hennepin County Sheriff Patrol Headquarters

9401 83rd Ave. N., Brooklyn Park

Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Edina – Hennepin County Library – Southdale

7009 York Ave. S., Edina

Hours: Mon. – Thurs.: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri. – Sat.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.

Minneapolis – Hennepin County Public Safety Facility

401 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis

Hours: Always open, 24/7

Minnetonka – Hennepin County District Court Ridgedale

12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka

Hours: Mon. – Thurs.: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri. – Sat.:10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sun.: Noon – 5 p.m.

Spring Park – Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol

4141 Shoreline Drive, Spring Park

Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The program accepts:

Prescription medicines, including controlled substances

Over-the-counter medicines

Vitamins and supplements

Pet medicines

It does not accept sharps, used syringes, or medicine from businesses.

Comments are closed.