Healthcare facilities such as physician offices, surgery centers, nursing facilities, and hospitals are the largest bulk users of medications. The three main categories of pharmaceutical waste are, Non-Hazardous pharmaceutical (non-RCRA pharmaceutical), RCRA Hazardous pharmaceuticals and Controlled Substance pharmaceuticals.
Non-hazardous pharmaceuticals make up approximately 85% of all pharmaceutical waste generated by healthcare facilities. A better name for it would be non-RCRA pharmaceutical waste, as it does not appear on the EPA’s Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, or RCRA, hazardous chemical list. Non-hazardous or non-RCRA pharmaceutical waste is not governed by RCRA regulations, but it still has to be carefully and properly disposed of to protect our communities and the environment.
Types of non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste includes:
- Over-the-counter medications
- Non-RCRA prescription medications
Improper disposal can put pharmaceuticals directly into water sources or landfills (where they can leach into the soil). This obviously poses a large environmental risk. Because of the noncompliance with federal laws, it also puts your medical clinic or facility at risk for fines With so many pharmaceuticals, it can be difficult to know how to dispose of them while maintaining compliance. The EPA and DOT will levy fines to facilities that do not properly dispose of pharmaceutical waste. Call today to protect your practice, your employees and your environment.