Old medications collected in Hennepin County to be incinerated

Hennepin County’s effort to collect old medicines — so they’re not abused, or flushed down the toilet — has amassed more than 500 pounds of the stuff since March 5, and on Wednesday they’re going to incinerate it all.

The 540 pounds were collected at drop boxes at the sheriff’s offices in Brooklyn Park, Spring Park and downtown. The material, on a pallet 6 feet tall, will be shipped to an incinerator outside the metro area for burning.

County officials say incineration is the best way to dispose of the medications:

Flushing medicines into our waste-water system (which is not equipped to remove pollutants such as hormones) or throwing them in the trash, where they can end up in landfills, can pollute water, harm wildlife and end up in our drinking water supplies.

Collection will continue for county residents at the three sites:

  • Hennepin County Sheriff’s Patrol Headquarters 
    9401 83rd Ave. N. in Brooklyn Park
    Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Hennepin County Public Safety Facility
    401 Fourth Ave. S. in downtown Minneapolis
    Hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol 
    4141 Shoreline Drive in Spring Park 
    Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The rules:

Medicine from households will be accepted, including: 

·        Prescription medicines, including controlled substances 
·        Over-the-counter medicines 
·        Vitamins and supplements 
·        Pet medicines 
Not accepted 
·        No needles, sharps or syringes 
·        No medicines from businesses 
·        No ID required. 
·        Free. 
·        Bring medicines in their original containers. 
·        The boxes are self-serve. Pull the handle to open and drop the medicine into the box. 

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