EPA Proposes Rule for Disposal of Hazardous Pharmaceutical Wastes

December 11, 2008
Patricia Van Arnum
ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to add hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to the Universal Waste Rule to provide a system for disposing of hazardous pharmaceutical wastes.

The US Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to add hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to the Universal Waste Rule to provide a system for disposing of hazardous pharmaceutical wastes.

The agency says that the proposed addition will make it easier for generators to collect and properly dispose of these items as hazardous wastes, resulting in a simpler and more streamlined waste-management system. This proposed rule applies to facilities that generate hazardous pharmaceutical waste, pharmacies, hospitals, physician’s offices, outpatient facilities and other like facilities.

The rule encourages generators to dispose of nonhazardous pharmaceutical waste as universal waste, thereby removing this unregulated waste from wastewater treatment plants and municipal solid waste landfills. The agency says that the addition of hazardous pharmaceutical waste to the Universal Waste Rule will facilitate the collection of personal medications from the public at various facilities so that they can be more properly managed. 

The proposed rule was published in the Dec. 2 edition of the Federal Register.

Information about the proposed rule by found at the EPA website.