April 30 marks Prescription Drug Take Back Day and the Marathon County Health Department is asking you to properly dispose of your unused prescription drugs.

It’s all done in an effort to reduce misuse of prescription pain relievers and the passing along of these drugs to friends and family members.

According to the 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, prescription pain relievers were misused by 9.3 million people ages 12 and older. Of those who misuse medications, 47 percent are given by, bought or taken from a friend or relative.

There are multiple drop boxes in Marathon County where you can take unwanted medications, as well as needles, sharps and syringes. Medications and sharps should be properly disposed of in a designated drop box, and not thrown away or flushed down the toilet; proper disposal also will help protect our environment.

On April 30, take your medications to one of these locations:

  • Wausau Police Department, 515 Grand Ave, Wausau, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Medication and sharps drop boxes will be available.
  • Spencer Police Department, 105 S. Park St., Spencer, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Medication and sharps drop boxes will be available.
  • Mosinee Police Department, 225 Main St., Mosinee, from 8 a.m. to noon.
  • Rothschild Police Department, 211 Grand Ave., Rothschild, as a 24/7 location
  • Kronenwetter Police Department, 1582 Kronenwetter Drive, Mosinee, as a 24/7 location

Residents can use permanent medication drop boxes at any time of the year at all local police departments in Marathon County (Everest Metro, Wausau, Colby-Abbotsford, Marathon City, Spencer, Edgar, Stratford, Mosinee and Athens), including two locations that are available 24/7 (Rothschild and Kronenwetter). In addition, there are community drop boxes at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, Marshfield Clinic Health System locations and some local pharmacies. More details at www.marathoncountysolidwaste.org/pharmaceuticals.

Residents are asked to follow three simple steps when disposing of medications:

  1. Take pills out of the original containers and place in a zip-style sealable bag. Blister packs do not need to be emptied. Keep liquids, creams, ointments and inhalers in original containers and place in zip-style sealable bag.
  2. Remove any identifiable information from empty pill containers and recycle.
  3. Place zip-style sealed bags into the medication drop box.

For residents who have sharps or needles and syringes to dispose, there are four police departments with free, permanent sharps disposal boxes (Wausau, Marathon City, Edgar and Spencer). Sharps must be in an approved sharps container or hard plastic container with a secure top, such as a laundry detergent bottle.

For more information and community sharps disposal locations visit www.marathoncountysolidwaste.org/sharps.