Sheriff's officials in each of Iowa's 99 counties are providing a drop box for residents to dispose of their old prescription drugs.

Authorities have partnered with state and federal officials on "the 99 County Drug Drop Box Project," a new initiative through Iowa's Office of Drug Control Policy that also includes a partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa.

In Black Hawk County, anyone who needs to get rid of unused, unwanted, and left-over prescription medications can now put them in the drop box located at the sheriff's office in downtown Waterloo. The drop box is a repainted mail drop box, which was donated by the U.S. Postal Service's Waterloo office.

“While I recognize that there are various programs and other box locations in our county, this was an opportunity for us to make a very convenient, year-round location for prescription medication drop-off,” Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson said.

“Prescription drug addiction is an urgent and growing threat to Iowa’s public health," said Cedar Rapids police officer Al Fear, who's coordinater of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area for the U.S. Attorney's office. "Drug drop boxes help save lives and protect families from increased dangers of prescription drug misuse. We have found that while U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration drug ‘take-back’ days have been effective, the availability of the no cost, anonyomous collection of unwanted and expired medicines
through Drug Drop Boxes have proven to be very effective all year long.”

The box is now located in the front vestibule of the Black Hawk County Law Enforcement Center (sheriff's office). Thompson said the drop box is available 24 hours a day for the disposal of prescription medications.