Our Expertise Helps You be Compliant with Regulations
The disposal of pharmaceuticals and their components are regulated by federal and local regulations or laws. Understanding which regulations apply to you may depend on your type of business, your volume of waste, and the specific type of wastes. Stericycle’s programs are designed to meet the regulatory requirements that apply to you and the pharmaceutical waste you generate. We have developed simple pharmaceutical programs that help you identify your controlled substance wastes, hazardous wastes, and other drug wastes to make sure that each is disposed of properly.
Concern Over Proper Disposal of Pharmaceuticals
Based on our internal expert research, hundreds of clinical, peer-reviewed articles have documented the presence of pharmaceuticals or their constituents in drinking water and/or groundwater in the United States and other developed nations. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) mandates proper disposal of any drug that meets the criteria for being a hazardous waste.
Other pharmaceuticals that are not currently regulated under RCRA are often called non-RCRA hazardous pharmaceuticals. Best management practices encourage the disposal of pharmaceuticals that are non-RCRA hazardous waste by incineration at a facility permitted to accept non-RCRA hazardous pharmaceuticals.
These pharmaceuticals should not be placed into red bags or sharps containers as these may be treated by methods other than incineration. Segregation (separation) of these items into a dedicated non-RCRA pharmaceutical container, marked for incineration, helps to ensure proper disposal.
Additionally, California Department of Public Health requires the segregation and incineration of affected waste pharmaceuticals that are not federally regulated under Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). These must be incinerated at a medical waste treatment facility.
Pharmaceutical Return Service