Pharmaceutical Waste Management

Pharmaceutical Waste Management

Pharmaceutical waste generated by various types of medical facilities can be a difficult waste stream to manage. Not only does your facility need to comply with all applicable hazardous and solid waste regulations, they must also comply with any overlapping regulations from:

Guidance on this web site should help your facility stay in compliance with Florida environmental regulations.

  1. You can also learn some ways to minimize the generation of drug waste at your facility.
  2. Find information about how to determine if a drug is hazardous waste:
  3. Here is a list of Universal Pharmaceutical Waste Transporters in Florida. Please contact us if your company is not listed.
  4. If your facility wants to develop a comprehensive pharmaceutical waste management program, an excellent guide is Practice Greenhealth’s Managing Pharmaceutical Waste – A 10 Step Blueprint for Healthcare Facilities in the United States available here: While at the web site, look at the other materials available through this program. They were created to help your facility adopt best environmental practices that increase operation efficiency and support an environmentally sustainable system that improves the health of patients, staff and the community.
  5. Florida has a Universal Pharmaceutical Waste Rule that provides a simplified and flexible process to promote proper management and reduce illegal disposal in Florida. Read the regulations. View a presentation on the regulations.
  6. Additional guidance:
    1. Certain pharmaceuticals have special exemptions and handling requirements including Epinephrine, Nicotine, Nitroglycerine, Warfarin/Coumadin, Phenol, Hexachlorophene, Chromium or Selenium supplements, Chromic Catgut Sutures and Insulin.
    2. EPA Guidelines for Containers that held P-Listed Pharmaceuticals and Empty Coumadin Container Interpretation.
    3. A list of pharmaceuticals that may be hazardous waste when disposed.
    4. How to manage expired sample medications from doctor’s offices.
    5. Guidelines for disposal of pharmaceuticals for homeowners. This disposal method can also be used for non-hazardous, non-controlled drugs in facilities.

Some of the best regulatory assistance can come from your local DEP regulatory office. Please find that District Office contact here.

If you would like to discuss pharmaceutical waste management, contact Jill Scarborough at 850-245-8782 or

Last updated: January 12, 2017