Schapp Sanitation
Residential and commercial waste collection
27008 US Hwy 59 | Worthington, MN

Managing Unwanted Medications

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency publishes very useful information about why it's important to carefully manage unwanted medications.


On the Minnesota state website Managing Unwanted Medications they report: 

"Studies show that medicines flushed down the drain can contaminate our lakes and streams, which can hurt fish and other aquatic wildlife, and end up in our drinking water. This is because municipal wastewater treatments systems cannot remove medications from the wastewater. Some medications, such as hormones and antidepressants, interfere with the reproduction and normal growth of many aquatic species, such as frogs and fish.

Prevent abuse and accidental poisoning

Medicines in home cabinets are the second highest cause of accidental poisoning in children and adults. These drugs are also highly susceptible to misuse and abuse. Studies show that people who abuse prescription drugs often obtain them from medicine cabinets of family and friends. 

Store all medications in their original containers and in a place that children and visitors cannot easily access. Sort through medications annually and properly dispose of outdated and unneeded medications.

Take unwanted medications to a collection site

Collection sites have different lists of what they accept. Always check with the collection site for any restrictions.

  • You cannot retrieve an item once you placed it in a drop box.
  • Keep prescription medications in their original container.  Remove patient information and prescription numbers.
  • DEA regulations prohibit placing illicit drugs (cocaine, heroin), and business generated medications in a bin.
  • Chemotherapy drugs in capsule form may be taken to a collection site in the original container. Liquid chemotherapy drugs should be returned to the clinic that issued them due to the potential to expose collectors and the public to cytotoxic drugs.
  • Unused needles and syringes that still contain medication may be put in medication collection boxes if they are first placed in a puncture proof container. Used needles are not accepted at medication collection sites. Contact your county solid waste office to find out whether there is a collection option for used needles. Never place containers with used needles or syringes in a recycling bin or loose sharps in the garbage.
  • Mercury-containing devices cannot be safely incinerated, so do not bring mercury thermometers or other devices to medication collection boxes. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Take mercury-containing products to your county household hazardous waste collection facility."

In Schaap Sanitation's service area, each county Sheriff's office has a collection site:  

  • Cottonwood County Sheriff
    • 902 5th Ave, Windom
    • Call 507-831-1375
  • Jackson  County Sheriff
    • 400 Sherman St, Jackson
    • Call 507-847-4420
  • Murray County Sheriff
    • 2500 28th St, Slayton
    • Call 507-8366168
  • Nobles County Sheriff
    • 1530 Airport Rd Ste 100, Worthington
    • Call 507-295-5373
  • Pipestone County Sheriff
    • 416 Hiawatha Ave S, Pipestone
    • Call 507-825-6700
  • Rock County Sheriff
    • 1000 N Mound Ave, Luverne
    • Call 507-283-5000

For more information visit Managing Unwanted Medications.


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