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Dispose of medication the safe way

Next time you clear out your medicine cabinet, dispose of expired and unwanted over-the-counter and prescription medicines the safe way—at new drop-off sites in Dakota County.

The facts:
* Three-fourths of people age 45 or older (more than 88 million in the U.S.) take an average of four prescription medications daily.
* An estimated 40 percent of prescription drugs go unused.
* Unused prescription drugs are a major source of teen substance abuse and can cause inadvertent overdose or poisoning when mistaken for other drugs.

* Flushing medicines down the toilet or in the sink pollutes groundwater and is harmful to fish and wildlife. Trace pharmaceuticals were found in 80 percent of tested waterways.

Do it now:

Dispose of unwanted medications the safe way.
Use collection sites for prescription and over-the-counter medications. Collection drop-off boxes are anonymous and open to all County residents 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week at the locations listed below. See a list of what’s accepted and how to package it.

Burnsville Police Department
100 Civic Center Parkway

Hastings Sheriff’s Office
(Drive-up box in front of Law Enforcement Center)
1580 Highway 55

West St. Paul Police Department
1616 Humboldt Avenue
West St. Paul

Know where to dispose of syringes, needles, thermometers and chemotherapy drugs. These drugs require special handling and should not be dropped in the collection drop-off boxes. Work with your healthcare provider for proper disposal or bring them to The Recycling Zone for free.


The Dakota County Public Health Department is committed to keeping residents safe and healthy through disease prevention programs, health promotion and education, and emergency preparedness activities. For more information or questions about the work of Public Health, visit us online.