Benton County Pharmaceutical Collection Program
The Benton Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD), in partnership with the Benton County Sheriff’s Office and Sauk Rapids Police Department, began a “Take it to the Box” program in November of 2012, designed to accept unused medication from citizens. The pharmaceutical disposal boxes are located at both the Benton County Sheriff’s Office in Foley and the Sauk Rapids Police Department, which is located in the City of Sauk Rapids Government Center. In 2018 Rice Police department added a collection site at the Rice City Hall/Police Department. The intent of this program is to provide a convenient, safe, and secure manner for the public to dispose of drugs year-round. This pharmaceutical disposal is made possible through the solid waste assessment charged on your taxes. This waste assessment is put into a general fund and is available through the Solid Waste Score Grant. A select Committee on recycling and waste education.
Collection of the prescription pharmaceuticals have increased each year since 2012 from 420 pounds to 1,240 pounds as of 2018. The total weight of pharmaceuticals collected during the duration of the program is 4,880 pounds. The unused and expired medications that are collected will e properly disposed of instead of making their way into our drinking water or causing potential problems with accidental poisoning. Benton Soil and Water Conservation District applied for and received a 2019 Score (Select Committee on Recycling and Waste Education) Grant from Benton County for $4980.90 to help cover most of the disposal and transportation costs associated with the program for the next 5 years
The disposal box at each site will accept household-generated pharmaceutical wastes, including all expired, unwanted, or unusable prescriptions, narcotics, or over-the-counter medications used by family members or pets. There is no cost to drop off the medications. Citizens are asked to leave medications in their original container, place the container(s) in a sealed, clear plastic bag, and to remove names and other identifying information from the containers. It is very important to leave the name of the medication on the container however, if you don’t have the original container, place the pharmaceutical in a clear, plastic bag and write the name of the medication on the bag. The drop off is completely anonymous—no ID is required.
The following are NOT accepted through this program:
No needles, syringes, lancets, thermometers, etc.
No medications from pharmaceutical businesses
No mercury-containing medical devices
No bandages, glucose meters, medical tape, etc.
See the flyer below on times to drop off your unused medications. (click on the flyer for a larger view) Citizens are encouraged to contact the Benton SWCD at (320) 968-5300 Ext. 3 if you have any questions.