People invited to turn in unwanted meds through program

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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The Albert Lea Police Department and Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office encourage residents to bring their unwanted medications to a collection program from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Walmart at 1550 Blake Ave.

The disposal is free of charge and confidential. Any medication may be dropped off, but no sharps please. The law enforcement officers will take all medications collected to an incinerator for final disposal. At the last Albert Lea takeback event in October 2023, officers collected 30 pounds of medication that was incinerated in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

Proper disposal of medication helps protect people and the environment.

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“Unwanted medications, from old prescriptions to expired pain relievers, can endanger people and pollute our water. Take advantage of this free and confidential disposal opportunity. By working together, we can keep these medications out of the wrong hands and protect our environment,” said Adam Hamberg, administrative sergeant with the Albert Lea Police Department.

Removing pain-killers and other drugs out of medicine cabinets makes them less available for youth and others to abuse.

Flushing medications down a toilet or drain can contaminate streams and eventually fish and other aquatic wildlife. That’s because many wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove medications, which pass through in the discharge to a stream.

Tossing medications in the trash can lead to abusers digging through garbage for drugs. If buried in landfills, the medications can contaminate the soil or groundwater.