OLIVIA - A Drug Take-Back Program launched May 1, netted 201 pounds of expired or otherwise unused medications through Dec. 31, 2012.
The amount is in addition to nearly 110 pounds of medication collected in a one-day, Drug Take-Back event in April 2012, according to a Renville County Sheriff's Office news release.
"We've collected an enormous amount of pills over the last eight months," said Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable. "...Getting rid of unused medication decreases the change of accidental overdoses by children and may take away the motive for some home burglaries and thefts."
Residents are encouraged to deposit unused medications in a drop-off box in the Renville County Office Building in Olivia. The box is open 24 hours a day, free of charge, no questions asked. People are encouraged to leave pills in their original containers. For prescription medications, simply blacken out or scratch off the patient's name on bottles.
After collection, sheriff's office personnel will take the medication to a specialized facility where they are incinerated.
Flushing unused medication is discouraged since wastewater treatment plants are unable to remove many medication's active ingredients, which results in them going into lakes, streams and water supplies.
Throwing unused medication in the trash allows them to wind up in a landfill, where they can have the same effect.
For more information, call 320-523-2261 or visit www.co.renville.mn.us/sheriff
Other counties have similar take-back drug programs. For more information, contact law enforcement offices.