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WLSSD to host collection event for unwanted medication today

The 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, Jan. 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. "Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Day...

The 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, Jan. 21, from 9 a.m. to 5 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 these specially-staffed events.

"We've seen a tremendous response from the community in support of the Medicine Cabinet Clean Out events. We've collected more than two tons of unwanted medicines in 10 events over the past three years," said Sarah Lerohl, environmental program coordinator. "The community has asked for this service, and we are pleased to be able to host quarterly collection events in 2011."

Quarterly collection events will be held Jan. 21, April 22, July 22, and Oct. 21.

Residents may bring their own, or a family member's, unwanted or expired medication to the drive-through area at the Household Hazardous Waste facility for free and confidential disposal. The facility is located at 2626 Courtland St. in Duluth.

Lerohl recommends that residents attending the event:

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+ Bring prescription or over-the-counter medication in its original container with all information about the medication visible to assist with sorting. Names and addresses may be covered or scratched out.

+ Keep medications out of reach of children while waiting for and transporting material to the event.

+ Keep needles or other medical sharps separate and packaged in rigid containers such as laundry detergent or soda bottles for safe disposal.

Residents who are unable to attend this event may dispose of unwanted medications in the garbage after properly preparing the medication per Minnesota Pollution Control Agency recommendations. These recommendations and further information about medicine disposal can be found at www.wlssd.com/pollution_pharmaceutical.php .

Proper disposal of unwanted medication is a community effort. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Department will provide law enforcement staff at the event to comply with U.S. drug laws, while pharmacists from Essential Health and St. Luke's Hospitals and Clinics will aid in the sorting and identifying the collected medication.

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