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3 Tips for Disposing of Pharmaceutical Waste

3 Tips for Disposing of Pharmaceutical Waste

The EPA has strict rules for the proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste.

The EPA has strict rules for the proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste. Non-compliance can be costly, and can even mean jail time. To avoid penalties, make sure your company is up to date on all regulations and best practices regarding pharmaceutical waste and follow these tips!

Identify the Type of Pharmaceutical Waste

The first thing you must do with the pharmaceutical waste is determine exactly what it is you’re dealing with. The EPA requires companies who generate hazardous waste to know exactly what and how much they are generating. This knowledge is vital in determining which rules and regulations will apply to your company. If you partner with a pharmaceutical waste disposal company, they will help you with these things. Also, you will want to keep detailed records of how much waste is produced.

Characterize and Separate

Next, you will need to characterize your pharmaceutical waste and separate it based on those characteristics: Is it toxic? Flammable? Basic or acidic? Is it corrosive?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) defines several different categories of hazardous wastes, but the 3 most common to pharmaceutical waste are u-listed, p-listed, and d-listed.

Know the Laws

The EPA, DOT, DEA, and OSHA all have various rules and regulation for the safe handling, transportation, and disposal of pharmaceutical waste. Depending on where your company is located and the waste you’re dealing with, there may be additional regulations from the state and local governments. The DOT dictates that containers need to be separated based on hazard classes, to prevent a reaction during transportation. The DEA requires you to dispose of different controlled substances or “scheduled” drugs separately. OSHA’s main concern is to make sure the pharmaceutical waste is handled in a manner that keeps the working environment safe.


No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on social media for updates.

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