Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (WLSSD) will host a free collection event for unwanted or expired medications at its regional Household Hazardous Waste Facility on Friday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Day” is a one-day event offering residents free disposal of unwanted medications in a safe, convenient and environmentally sound manner. Due to U.S. drug laws, medication can only be accepted at this location during these specially-staffed events.

“Drugs that are prescribed by a doctor or purchased over the counter can be a pathway to addiction or potential poisoning if not properly disposed of,” said Sam Lobby, environmental program coordinator. “Also, studies show pharmaceuticals can make it into water bodies where it could be harmful to fish or other aquatic life. Our medicine drop off events make it safe and easy to dispose of unwanted medication.”

WLSSD’s Medicine Cabinet Cleanout events offer a drive-through access option to discard of unwanted medicines; however, residents are also encouraged to use medication drop box sites at local law enforcement agencies and participating local pharmacies.

“Year ‘round drop boxes are also more convenient than ever, with 20 available locally,” Lobby said.

A complete list of drop box locations is available at wlssd.com/education/pollution-prevention/medicine.

To prepare medicines for all drop-off programs:

  • Bring prescription or over-the-counter medication in its original container and place in a sealed, clear plastic bag.
  • Cross off or scratch out identifying information if desired. Drop-off is anonymous; no ID is required.
  • Keep medications out of reach of children while storing and transporting material.
  • Needles or other medical sharps are only accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste facility, not dropbox sites. Separate and package them in rigid containers such as laundry detergent bottles for safe disposal.

Medicine Cabinet Cleanout events are a community effort aimed at preventing accidental poisonings, diversion of medicines for illicit purposes, and the introduction of pharmaceuticals into local waterways via improper disposal down the drain or toilet. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department will provide law enforcement staff at the event while pharmacists from Essentia Health and St. Luke’s Hospitals and Clinics will aid in the sorting and identifying the collected medication.

Western Lake Superior Sanitary District provides wastewater and solid waste services to residents, businesses and industries within its 500-square-mile legislative boundaries in southern St. Louis and northern Carlton counties.