Proper Medicine Disposal is a No Drainer

Old and unwanted medicines in your home can pose a risk for accidental poisoning, theft, and drug abuse. Research shows that medication put down the drain or flushed may pollute water and harm fish and wildlife.

Local Pharmacies Offering Medicine Collection

In 2016 the State of Minnesota made it legal for pharmacies to voluntarily collect unwanted medications from residents using collection bins at retail locations.  Find collection bins at:

CVS Pharmacy (1215 E Superior St)

Essentia Health Pharmacies – see individual stores for hours

Essentia Hermantown

Essentia Lakeside

Essentia Lakewalk

Essentia 3rd Street

Essentia 1st Street

Essentia West Duluth

St. Luke’s Northland Pharmacy

St. Luke’s Lake View Pharmacy

Walgreens (1131 E Superior St)

Take it to the Box Medication Disposal for Residents

Safely dispose of unwanted and expired medications at a Take It to the Box drop box, located in participating law enforcement facilities in Duluth, Hermantown and Proctor. ** Most Public Service Buildings are unavailable to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact individual sites for details.

Duluth PD/ St. Louis Co. Sheriff Public Safety Building

2030 Arlington Avenue, Duluth

Open M-F,  8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

West Duluth Police Substation

5830 Grand Avenue, Duluth

(Entrance is on Roosevelt St.)

Open M-F, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Hermantown Police Department

5111 Maple Grove Rd., Hermantown

Open M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Proctor Police Department

100 Pionk Drive, Proctor

Open M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Medicine Cabinet Clean-Out Event for Residents

The WLSSD Household Hazardous Waste Facility allows visitors to drop unwanted medications during this event only.

2020 medicine cabinet clean-out event:

Cancelled due to COVID-19

Businesses seeking information on medication management and disposal may contact the Clean Shop for options.

 Preparing Unwanted Medicines Drop-off (all programs)

  • Keep medicines in the original container if you can, and seal in a clear plastic bag. Write the name of the medicine on the bag if it isn’t otherwise identified. This helps responders in case of accidental ingestion by pets or people.
  • Use a marker to cross out identifying information if desired. Drop off is confidential and waste is ultimately incinerated.
  • Needles, syringes, lancets and thermometers are only accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Never put those items in a drop box. 

Disposal in the Trash

Drop off options are best because they ensure proper disposal, but if you are unable to use them, follow these instructions for disposal in the trash.

  1. Scratch out patient’s name.
  2. Add liquid, sawdust, or spices to destroy the product.
  3. Seal container with strong tape.
  4. Hide in a non-transparent container or bag.
  5. Throw it away as close to trash pick-up as possible.

Other Regional Programs

Carlton County Sheriff’s Office

Cloquet Police Department

Moose Lake Police Department

St. Louis County Environmental Services Division hosts seven sites in St. Louis County.

Superior Police Department