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Water: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products

Universal Waste Rule

To help provide a streamlined system for disposing of hazardous pharmaceutical waste that is protective of public health and the environment, EPA is proposing to add hazardous pharmaceutical waste to the Universal Waste Rule. The proposed rule also encourages generators to dispose of pharmaceutical waste that is classified as non-hazardous under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as universal waste.

The proposed rule applies to pharmacies, hospitals, physicians’ offices, residential care facilities, veterinary clinics, and other facilities that generate hazardous pharmaceutical waste. If finalized, the rule will further divert pharmaceutical wastes generated by such facilities from sewers and municipal solid waste landfills, thereby decreasing the amount of pharmaceuticals entering wastewater treatment plants from these sources. The proposal will also facilitate the collection of unused personal medications that are classified as household hazardous waste so they can be managed properly.

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