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Popular prescription-drug dropoff program comes to Rosemount

A successful prescription drug collection program initiated by the Dakota County Sheriff's Office will be expanded to include other cities in the county.

At its regular meeting this week, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners agreed to execute joint powers agreements with Apple Valley, Eagan, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Mendota Heights, Rosemount and South St. Paul to expand the program.

Currently, prescription medications drop-off boxes are located directly outside the Dakota County Law Enforcement Center in Hastings, and at the Burnsville and West St. Paul Police department buildings. Since the pilot program was launched a little more than a year ago, more than 3,000 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs has been collected at the three sites.

The program was initiated by Dakota County Sheriff Dave Bellows and Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. The goal was to make it easier for residents to properly dispose of unwanted, unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

The drop-off is safe and anonymous. No identification is required and no questions are asked. People should keep medicines in their original container and place them in a sealed, clear, plastic bag. Pills can remain in their blister pack. Use a marker to cross off your name on the medicine container). Place medicine that is no longer in its original container in a clear, plastic bag and write the name of the medicine on the bag.

Medicines from households are accepted in any form including prescription, over-the- counter and pet medications. No medicines from businesses, including health care facilities, long-term care facilities, pharmacies, doctor's offices and veterinary clinics can be accepted.

No needles or fever thermometers are accepted. Those items should be brought to the Recycling Zone in Eagan.

"It is important for local government and law enforcement to work together to make our community safer from the growing problem of prescription and over-the-counter medication a use," Bellows said.

The sheriff's office works closely with Dakota County Environmental Management to ensure proper disposal of the medications.

For more information, call the sheriff's office at 651-438-4710.