Pharmaceutical Waste Removal

Maine pharmaceutical wastePharmaceutical waste may be a hazardous chemical waste, controlled substance, and biomedical waste.

Pharmaceutical waste may include expired drugs, patients’ discarded personal medications, waste materials containing excess drugs (IV bags, tubing, vials, etc.), waste materials containing chemotherapy drug residues, open containers of drugs that cannot be used, containers that held acute hazardous waste (P-listed) drugs, and drugs that are discarded.

Proper classification is necessary to be in compliance with the laws regulating each waste type.

Hazardous Chemical Pharmaceutical Waste:

A number of common pharmaceuticals are regulated as hazardous chemical waste. These include but are not limited to:

Arsenic TrioxideEpinephrineNitroglycerineSaccharin
ChloroformFormaldehydePhenacetineSelenium Sulfide
ChorambucilHexachloropheePhenolStreptozotcin
CyclophosphamideLindanePhysostigimine SalicylateUracil mustard
DauomycinMelphalanPhysostigmineWarfarin >0.3%
DichlorodifluoromethaeMitomycin CReserpineDiethylstilbestrol
NicotineResorcinol

Maine pharmaceutical waste for removal.Pharmaceutical waste that exhibits one or more of the EPA characteristics of a hazardous chemical waste are also regulated as a hazardous chemical waste. These characteristics are:

  • Corrosivity
  • Ignitability
  • Reactivity
  • Toxicity

Pharmaceutical waste that is also a hazardous chemical waste must be managed as an EPA hazardous waste.

Non-Hazardous Pharmaceutical Waste:

Commonly generated non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste includes expired drugs, personal medications, discontinued, unused, undispensed vials and IVs, non-hazardous chemotherapy agents and broken or spilled materials.

Currently, non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste is not reportable and is shipped for disposal using a bill of lading. It is suggested that non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste is incinerated at a regulated hazardous waste incinerator. This process ensures destruction of waste and reduces the waste generators liability.