Benton County Pharmaceutical Collection Program

Travis Janson and Sheriff Troy Heck

Travis Janson and Sheriff Troy Heck

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. 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.

On July 13th 2016, there was 660 pounds of unused and expired medications that were collected and properly disposed of instead of making their way into our drinking water or causing potential problems with accidental poisoning. Benton Soil & Water Conservation District applied for and received a 2015 SCORE (Select Committee on Recycling and Waste Education) Grant from Benton County for $4521.41 to help cover the majority of the disposal and transportation costs associated with the program for the next 4 years.    

7.26.16 Score Grant - Unused Pharmaceuticals Disposed - loaded truck.jpg

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.

Drop-off sites are open Monday through Friday during normal business hours at both locations. Citizens are encouraged to contact the Benton SWCD at (320) 968-5300 Ext. 3