Pharmacy » Disposal of Hazardous Drugs


Pharmacy staff exposure to hazardous drugs can occur during activities such as:

  • Bagging and labeling
  • Hazardous waste disposal

Recognized Controls and Work Practices

Hazardous waste containers and disposal

  • Use thick, leak-proof plastic bags, colored differently from other hospital trash bags for routine collection of discarded gloves, gowns and other related disposable material. Clearly label the plastic bags as “HAZARDOUS DRUG-RELATED WASTES.”
  • Keep the waste bag inside a covered waste container clearly labeled "HAZARDOUS DRUG WASTE ONLY". Locate at least one such receptacle in every area where drugs are prepared or administered. Do not move waste from one area to another. Seal the bag when filled and tape the covered waste container.
  • Label needle and sharps containers in the pharmacy unit as "HAZARDOUS DRUG WASTE ONLY".
  • Dispose of hazardous drug-related wastes according to federal (e.g., EPA), state and local regulations for hazardous waste. Use either an incinerator or a licensed sanitary landfill for toxic wastes, as appropriate, to dispose of this waste. Use only a licensed company to perform commercial waste disposal. While awaiting removal, hold the waste in a secure area in covered, labeled drums with plastic liners.

Additional Information