Pharmacies

On-site Pharmaceutical Collection Program:

DEP has a voluntary program to encourage pharmacies to recycle unused medications. The Notification for Registration of On-site Pharmaceutical Drug Collection Program  allows licensed pharmacies to collect pharmaceutical waste from households.

Municipal Pharmaceutical Collection Procedures:

1. All municipal pharmaceutical collections offered to local residents must be registered and approved with DEP’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Program. Please call 717-787-7382 or your DEP regional office to obtain registration package. DEP’s HHW web page may be found HERE.

2. Following are guidelines to conducting a residential pharmaceutical collection in PA:

  • Obtain the services of a PA licensed hazardous waste hauler.
  • Obtain the services of at least one PA licensed pharmacist.
  • Involve law enforcement to take possession of and properly destroy controlled substances
  • Register the collection with DEP’s household hazardous waste program, including submission of a letter with the HHW package requesting the Department of Health to issue a letter of exemption for the HHW hauler to possess non-controlled pharmaceuticals
  • Provide a safe and secure site that permits privacy for participants
  • At the collection site, the pharmacist should determine if the pharmaceuticals brought to the collection are controlled or non-controlled. Controlled pharmaceuticals are given directly to law enforcement. Non-controlled are given to the licensed hazardous waste hauler.
  • Law enforcement takes possession of the controlled pharmaceuticals and has them properly destroyed.
  • The hazardous waste hauler separates the waste into the proper waste categories and manages them according to the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of PA.
  • All collected pharmaceuticals must be properly destroyed. Indicate how they will be destroyed, where, and by whom.
  • Controlled pharmaceuticals are regulated under the ‘Controlled Substances Act’.
  • A controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/ucm148726.htm): • (6) The term ''controlled substance'' means a drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of part B of this subchapter. The term does not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco, as those terms are defined or used in subtitle E of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. For more information on a pharmaceutical collection, go to the Northeast Recycling Council guidelines for holding a pharmaceutical collection at http://www.nerc.org/documents/unwanted_medication_collection_quick_guide_11_08.pdf