MERI collects sharps at Drug Take Back Day events in Stoughton, Waunakee and Edgerton, WI. Pills, patches, EPI pens, and prescription eyewear are just a few of them items people drop off for disposal.
At Stoughton Wellness Coalition’s recent Medication Disposal and Sharps Collection day, MERI collected 278 pounds of sharps for disposal.
Additionally, more than 480 pounds of drugs went to the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s Drug Take Back program. This free community wide drive-through service happens the third Saturday of April and October. It takes place from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Stoughton Fire Station in conjunction with the state-wide medication disposal program. That day also is a chance to clear out all items from the 24-hour medication drop box at the Stoughton Police Station.
Pat Conlin, Stoughton Police Lieutenant, said, “This biannual event encourages people to clean out their medicine cabinets and remove painkillers or other medicines no longer needed by a family member or pet. We ask folks to drop off their sharps in rigid containers. Better yet, keep medicines in their original packaging, with personal information darkened out.”
Volunteers from Lions/Lioness collect unwanted eye glasses and hearing aids at the event. In addition, Stoughton Hospital offers sharps containers to safely collect lancets and needles.
State and Local Grants Help Cover Stoughton WI’s Drug Take Back Costs
“More than 20 volunteers come together to help make this event go smoothly,” said Teressa Pellett, Stoughton Coalition. “This program is a reality due to a grant from the State of Wisconsin Targeted Response to Opioids. And, through local support from the Bryant Foundation. Our partnership with Stoughton’s Police, School District and Hospital, keeps this valuable program going. For the past 11 years, this program has kept unwanted medications out of the reach of children.”
Pellett said the take back day creates a safer community. It also promotes healthy lifestyle choices and prevents youth substance use. “Our event provides a convenient way of disposing prescription medications and other waste and keeps them from being flushed into our water system or from entering landfills.”
She added, “It’s staggering the appreciation we receive from those who drop off their unwanted drugs and infectious waste. They know that items left in medicine cabinets may be susceptible to misuse, or, if disposed of improperly, may harm the environment.”
Although the take back day happens just twice per year, residents can drop off their unwanted medications 24 hours per day, 7 days per week at the Locked Drug Drop Off Box that is located outside at the Stoughton Police Station, 321 South Fourth Street in Stoughon. Items that can be put in the box include prescription medications, medication samples, over the counter medicines and inhalers. No sharps should be placed in the box.
MERI Collects Sharps at Drug Take Back in Waunakee
Jodie Sorenson, executive board member of the Waunakee Community Cares Coalition, said Waunakee has participated in the DEA’s Drug Take Back day for the past three years. This is the first year MERI collected and disposed sharps at its event. “MERI made the process easy, and we were able to collect more than 50 pounds of sharps. MERI also provided us with one-gallon sharps boxes that we handed out to members of our community.” Sorenson added, “And, we also gave out lockable safes to keep drugs stored out of the reach of children.”