What Is Pharmaceutical Waste

Pharmaceutical waste is any waste which contains medicinal drugs — that are NOT controlled substances— that are expired, unused, contaminated, damaged or no longer needed.

• Tablets and capsules

• Medicinal syrups, lozenges, or gums

• Medicinal creams, ointments, gels

• Vaccines

• Vitamins

• Inhalers

• Dermal patches

• Multi-dose viles with drug remaining

• Packaging that contained warfarin (Coumadin) or nicotine

• IV bags or turn with residual pharmaceutical liquids such as antibiotics or TPN with silver

How to Prepare Pharmaceutical Waste For Disposal

• All medications need to be out of their original containers and in a sealable, leak proof bag. Do not place bottles in the waste bin.

• This includes medication in blister packs, bottles and pouches.

• Creams, gels, ointments and inhalers can stay in their original container but need to be placed in a resealable, leak proof bag.

• All medication can be disposed of using the same bag.

• Empty medication bottles can be placed in the blue bin to the right for recycling.

Do not deposit pill bottles. Contents of disposal bin is incinerated


• Controlled substances (narcotics)

• Anything with needles / sharps

• Thermometers

• Bloody or infectious waste

• Medication from a business or clinic

• Hydrogen peroxide

• Aerosol cans