"Virtually every week we're emptying our bin at least two times when we think it's full so we've taken a lot of stuff off the street," said Green Bay Police Captain Bill Bongle.
But for all the drugs such bins have taken off the street, a Department of Natural Resources study finds that 98-percent or just under a million pounds of unused prescription medicines end up in household trash or sanitary sewers. Most waste water treatment plants cannot process pharmaceutical compounds.
"There are some technologies out there. They're very expensive. They're difficult to manage. That can remove some of these compound," said Thomas Sigmund, Executive Director of NEW Water.
Until last year, Green Bay Police were able to use the Pulliam Generating Plant to burn controlled substances collected from drop boxes. Now they're stock piled and handed over to the Drug Enforcement Agency twice yearly. While two new disposal options have been proposed, diverting prescription drugs from landfills and water supplies will come at a cost.
"There are two potential incinerators in Wisconsin. One in Barron County. One in LaCrosse....But both options are far away from Northeast Wisconsin," said Chris Blan, Solid Waste Technician with the Brown County Hazardous Waste Collection facility.
Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.