From pharmacies and laboratories to clinics, hospitals, and more, healthcare facilities are tasked with accurate identification and management of all hazardous waste materials produced through operation. It can be challenging trying to organize and implement your waste disposal protocols, especially in conjunction with complex and changing environmental regulations. Proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste can provide serious benefits for your business and the environment, and HTS Environmental Services is here to help!

Based in Southern California, our hazardous waste transportation and support specialists are here to provide a full spectrum of services to deliver beneficial and sustainable results for your business. Since 1995, our team has striven to perfect our services in order to better assist our clients and their unique needs.

We understand the complexities associated with pharmaceutical waste disposal, and are here to provide complete assistance with all of your facility needs. Keep reading to learn more about the challenges of hazardous pharmaceutical waste, and be sure to request your quote to get started!

What is Pharmaceutical Waste?

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) clearly defines what classifies as hazardous waste, and provides four lists for identification purposes:

  • F-Listed — This hazardous waste is the result of manufacturing processes. As this type of waste can be sourced from different industries, all materials are known as wastes from non-specific sources.
  • K-listed — Considered source-specific wastes, materials in this category are the result of specific waste sources. These materials can range from petroleum refining to steel fabrication, chemical production, and more.
  • P-listed — Any materials considered unused or pure may qualify under the P-list, which consists of acute hazardous waste from commercial chemicals.
  • U-listed — Similar to the P-list, any hazardous waste from discarded chemical products that harbor any of the chemicals listed qualify for this category.

Beyond the substances listed above, a variety of materials exposed to toxic materials can also be classified as hazardous pharmaceutical waste. Most pharmaceutical by-products will fall under the P- and U-lists. Industry professionals estimate that less than 10% of pharmaceutical waste meets the hazardous designation, yet that small percentage must be properly disposed of to avoid a variety of environmental concerns and financial penalties.

Environmental Considerations

The pharmaceutical industry is growing faster than ever, as improving technology and an increased quality of life helps to care for our aging population. According to research firm EvaluatePharma, pharmaceuticals will comprise $1.12 trillion in the global market in 2022. Without proper regulations and control, this surge of medical waste can make its way into our water sources and landscape, affecting local humans, plants, and animals.

Contaminated sharps can create an unnecessary risk in your facility for patients and employees, while products such as antibiotics can be absorbed within water sources, affecting local wildlife in addition to our drinking supply. Growing global efforts have been made to reduce the impact of medications on our ecology, which is why HTS focuses on delivering the safest solutions.

Avoid EPA Fines and Violations

In the bustle of a normal workday, it can prove easy to let small things slip through the cracks. However, it’s important to remember that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes serious action when it comes to pharmaceutical waste disposal. According to their site, the EPA amassed over $450 million from responsible parties in 2014 to clean up Superfund sites (any area declared by the EPA to be a hazard and candidate for cleanup). The EPA also enforced regulations to generate 155 years of prison time for convicted parties.

It is essential to keep your hazardous pharmaceutical waste disposal practices above board, as any violations found by the EPA can result in fines up to $40,000 per day. Compliance is important for the environment, and if you need more of a reason to do things right, the financial cost of violating regulations should be incentive enough.

Proper Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal is Essential

HTS Environmental Services is here to deliver hazardous waste disposal and support services across Southern California and beyond, relying on our expertise and top-notch equipment to ensure your facility is optimally prepared for success. From waste stream identification to Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) compliance, we’re ready to support you every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more about pharmaceutical waste disposal, and be sure to request a quote for your facility needs!