Many of us have these in our medicine cabinets. Expired, unused, or unneeded prescription medications. Don't throw them in the garbage. Don't flush them down the toilet. Take them to The Box. The Steele County Safe and Drug Free Coalition partners with Steele County law enforcement to offer a safe and proper way to dispose of them.

The Take it to the Box program has drop-off locations at the Law Enforcement Center in Owatonna and at City Hall in Blooming Prairie. Each is open 24/7 throughout the year. But this Saturday, April 30 is a special awareness time with the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Annette Duncan of the Steele County Safe and Drug-Free Coalition says, "The purpose of these boxes is for you to have a safe place to dispose of your unwanted, expired, unused prescriptions so that we are removing them from our medicine cabinets and putting them in a place where they can be disposed of properly."

"On the side of youth, which is what we focus on here at the Safe and Drug Free Coalition, we want to make sure we are not creating temptation within our households. That we are removing those items so that they don't fall into the wrong hands."

The KRFO Talk of the Town program Thursday morning April 28 at 9:40 am will feature Annette Duncan with the Steele County Safe and Drug Free Coalition and Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele.

The goal for Saturday is to collect 1,200 pounds of prescription drugs between the two Steele County locations. A press release from the coalition states, "Medications can be dropped off as they are, no preparation or removal from containers is needed. Prescriptions and all identifying information on bottles are incinerated to [ensure] complete confidentiality."

Steele County Sheriff Lon Thiele says the program started in 2011 in the county, "To get the prescription items off the street, not in the garbage. Put them in a box where we can actually take care of them. Back in 2011, my first year as sheriff is when the boxes were delivered to the Law Enforcement Center...and down in Blooming Prairie Police Department at the city hall there."

"We've stepped up to help out and make sure that we can continue making the items easy to properly dispose of. And that's what we're doing with these Take it to the Box items and days."

Even though Saturday, April 30 is an awareness day to dispose of those meds, Thiele says, "We're making it work for everyone. We're open 24 hours, seven days a week, 365. And so is the city hall in Blooming Prairie...Since we've been doing this back in 2011, we've taken over 10,000 pounds, that's over five tons of pharmaceuticals off the street, and into an incendiary device where we get rid of them."

  • Law Enforcement Center, 204 E. Pearl Street, Owatonna
  • Blooming Prairie City Hall, 138 Highway Avenue South

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