Medicine disposal

Safely dispose of unused medicines at one of Hennepin County’s medicine drop boxes.

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Drop box locations and hours

Hennepin County provides six drop boxes for residents to dispose of their medicines. The county has also previously collected medicines at events and visits to senior living facilities. No events or visits are scheduled at this time.

Hennepin County does not provide service to pick up medicines directly from your home. If someone contacts you offering this service, please call your local law enforcement agency.

Drop box locations and hours

The green medicine drop boxes are located in the lobby at each location.

Brooklyn Center – Hennepin County Library/District Court – Brookdale

6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Map

Brooklyn Park - Hennepin County Sheriff’s Patrol Headquarters

9401 83rd Avenue North, Brooklyn Park 55445
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Map

Edina – Hennepin County Library – Southdale

7001 York Avenue South, Edina, MN 55435
Hours: Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Map

Minneapolis - Hennepin County Public Safety Facility

401 Fourth Avenue South, Minneapolis 55415
Hours: 24 hours a day, seven days a week
You are required to go through a metal detector at this location.
Map

Minnetonka – Hennepin County District Court Ridgedale

12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305
Hours: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
Map

Spring Park - Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol

4141 Shoreline Drive, Spring Park 55384
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Map

Why are the drop boxes located at sheriff facilities?

About 10 percent of the pharmaceuticals dispensed in the U.S. are controlled substances. Controlled substances include anabolic steroids, narcotics, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens that have a potential for abuse and physical and psychological dependence.

The U.S. Controlled Substances Act established a closed system of distribution designed to prevent the diversion of controlled substances. Although patients can possess controlled substances, they cannot lawfully transfer a controlled substance to another person or entity for any purpose. For example, patients cannot return controlled substances to pharmacies, even though pharmacies dispense them.

As an interim measure, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has allowed law enforcement agencies, such as the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, to operate medicine disposal programs. The law enforcement agency must retain custody of controlled substances at all times, up to and including destruction.

After collecting the medicines, Sheriff’s deputies will transport the medicines to an incinerator, where they will be destroyed.

Medicine disposal guidelines and materials accepted

Guidelines

  • Use of the program is free. 
  • No ID is required.
  • Bring medicines in their original containers.
  • If the medicine is no longer in the original container, place the medicine in quart-sized plastic bags. To avoid clogging the drop box, please do not bring medicines in gallon-size plastic bags or plastic shopping bags.
  • The box is self-serve. Pull the handle to open it and then drop the medicines into the box. Drop the whole container - packaging and pills - into the box.

Accepted

Medicines from households are accepted, including:

  • Prescription medicines, including controlled substances
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Pet medicines

Medicines are accepted in the following forms:

  • Aerosols
  • Blister packs
  • Capsules
  • Creams
  • Gels
  • Inhalers
  • Liquids
  • Patches
  • Pills
  • Powders

Not accepted

Additional medicine disposal options

HealthPartners Pharmacies medicine take-back program

HealthPartners accepts medicines for disposal at their pharmacies in Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis (Riverside) and St. Louis Park. Learn more about HealthPartners Pharmacies medicine take-back program.

Please note that these pharmacies cannot accept controlled substances for disposal. Controlled substances include Codeine, OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. See the DEA's list of controlled substances (PDF) for more information. Dispose of controlled substances in Hennepin County sheriff's office drop boxes.

Other county programs

Many counties in the metro area offer medicine disposal options. Find additional options at RethinkRecycling.com.

Why is medicine disposal important?

Properly disposing of unused medicines is important

Prevent abuse or poisoning

Storing unused medicines in the home poses safety and health threats.

  • Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem, especially among teens.
  • Accidental poisonings from medicines are also on the rise.

Protect the environment

Medicines flushed down the drain or disposed of in the trash can contaminate bodies of water, harm wildlife and end up in drinking water supplies.

Prescription drugs that are most often abused

If unused or unwanted, these are important drugs to remove from your home.

  • Painkillers: Vicodin, Tylenol with codeine, OxyContin, Percocet
  • Depressants: Xanax, Valium, Nembutal
  • Stimulants: Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta
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