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Medication disposal program goes on the road next week

WORTHINGTON -- Nobles County Sheriff's deputies will make the rounds through each community next week, collecting unwanted and unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications.

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WORTHINGTON - Nobles County Sheriff’s deputies will make the rounds through each community next week, collecting unwanted and unneeded prescription and over-the-counter medications.

This is the second year the sheriff’s office has spearheaded the drug take-back drive, and Sheriff Kent Wilkening is hoping for an even greater response than the more than 150 pounds of pills collected last year. The collection drive is in addition to the drug take-back box the department has permanently available during regular business hours Monday through Friday at the Prairie Justice Center in Worthington.

“We’ve advertised that to people when they come to town to bring their prescription and non-prescription meds and drop them off here,” Wilkening said, adding that the box at the PJC is filled often enough that deputies transport the discarded meds about once a month to Mankato for incineration.

Going out to communities to collect the drugs makes it easier for some residents who either don’t get to Worthington often or forget to drop them off when they are in town, the sheriff added.

“One of the other reasons that we want to do this is we want to get those unused prescription drugs out of their medicine cabinets,” he said. Doing so lessens the chance for a child to get at the medications, and keeps them out of the hands of people looking for certain drugs.

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Wilkening said people should not be flushing medications down the toilet because they end up in wastewater treatment plants or in residential septic systems, where they can re-enter the ground and lead to potential contamination of the water supply.

“This is the safest way to dispose of them,” he said of the collection.

While people are welcome to drop off pills and liquid medications, the sheriff’s office will not accept any needles. Liquids should be kept in their containers and sealed in a plastic bag.

There is no charge to the public for dropping off medications. It’s done as a public service, Wilkening noted.

“We’re hoping people take advantage of it,” he said. “If people miss the (community collection), we always have our box at the Prairie Justice Center (located in the front lobby), open Monday through Friday from 8 to 4:30.”

The medication disposal collection schedule follows:

Monday: 9 to 10 a.m. at the Round Lake City Hall; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Brewster City Hall; and 1 to 2 p.m. at the Dundee City Hall.

Tuesday: 9 to 10 a.m. at the Rushmore City Hall; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Wilmont City Hall; and 1 to 2 p.m. at the Bigelow City Hall.

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Wednesday: 9 to 10 a.m. at the Ellsworth City Hall; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Adrian City Hall; and 1 to 2 p.m. at the Lismore City Hall.

Thursday: 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Leota Cafe; and 1 to 2 p.m. at the Reading Community Center.

Two deputies will be at each location during the specified times.

Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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