Phamaceutical Waste Removal Or Mail In Program

RCRA Pharmaceuticals

The management of RCRA pharmaceutical waste including the identification, determination, storage, transportation and treatment, is not the same as management of non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste. Businesses are required to have a comprehensive program for management of hazardous pharmaceutical waste. We assist in helping healthcare facilities and retail pharmacies with waste determination and provide a plan for storage and final treatment.Noncompliance with hazardous pharmaceutical waste regulations can result in fines of up to $37,500 per day, per incident (ASHP, 2012).

What is Pharmaceutical waste

RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) pharmaceuticals become hazardous waste when deemed nonviable (returned, expired, damaged.) They are considered "listed" wastes. The volume and type of listing can impact storage limits, generator status and requirements for disposal packaging. A proper program for RCRA pharmaceuticals includes written waste determination, storage, transportation and treatment. Contact Sharps Compliance to set up a compliant program today for managing RCRA waste in your healthcare facility or retail pharmacy.

How do I handle mailing in these acceptable pharmaceuticals?


  • Place all unused medications into this envelope including legally held controlled drugs and narcotics (Schedules II, III, IV and V.)
  • Medications should be in their original containers when placed into the Waste
  • Clean box or envelope.
  • Liquids must be placed in a sealed plastic bag (e.g. a zip-locked bag) before being placed inside the envelope. No more than four (4) ounces of liquids can be included in each mailing.
  • Seal the envelope carefully.
  • Take the sealed envelope to a U.S. Post Office or U.S. Postal Service drop box, or simplyhand it to your U.S. postal carrier.


  • DO NOT mail needles, syringes. lancets, injection pens, medical waste, liquid chemo/cytotoxic drugs or contaminated materials such as gloves, tubing, or IV bags in this envelope. Contact us directly for the proper disposal method for these items.
  • DO NOT mail trash, aerosol spray cans, batteries, any substance or material that could adversely affect the safety of carriers during transportation, such as flammable, infectious, radioactive, or combustible materials.
  • DO NOT mail illicit drugs (Schedule I controlled substances) such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine.
  • DO NOT overfill the Waste Clean box or envelope.
  • DO NOT take this filled Waste Clean box or envelope back to your pharmacy.

Packages may only be mailed from within the 50 US states and you should only use Waste Clean boxes or envelops.

We will charge more for non-compliant box shipments~!

What to expect with our Waste Clean Mail-In Program?

Our container units are designed to collect, protect and safely transport the pharmaceuticals to our treatment facility. The inner Liner meets the following DEA requirements (21 CFR § 1317.60):

The inner liner is waterproof, tamper-evident, and tear-resistant;

The inner liner shall be removable and sealable immediately upon removal without emptying or touching the contents;

The contents of the inner liner shall not be viewable from the outside when sealed;

The size of the inner liner shall be clearly marked on the outside of the liner (e.g., 5 gallons, 10 gallons, etc.); and

The inner liner shall bear a permanent, unique identification number that enables the liner to be tracked in our Waste Clean Industries portal system that you can access and print your receipt of each collection.

Also, Waste Clean Industries maintains all the proper permits from the California Department of Toxic Substance Control and the US Department of Transportation for the transportation of hazardous material pharmaceuticals. Click link below for our Waste Clean Industries permit listings (“link to permit page”)

Why is it important to properly discard your expired or otherwise non use pharmaceutical waste? And how do we handle these items properly?

Pharmaceutical drugs are composed of complex chemicals that can not be easily broken down into safe molecules. We often hear of stories of these items being thrown in the regular trash bins or down the toilet. DON’T. The damage you are doing to the environment is more than you may think. These chemicals remain in tact for years and can contaminate the water table, thus harming fish and destroying the quality of water for years to come.

At our facility in Knoxville Tennessee, Waste Clean Industries is permitted to legally incinerate these items. At such high temperatures, the chemical make-up is broken down and rendered harmless. Our filtration system keeps any contaminants from entering the surrounding air or water environments.