Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal

Pharmaceutical waste is any waste which contains medicinal drugs that are expired, unused, contaminated, damaged or no longer needed.

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Safe, Compliant, and Efficient

Stericycle’s pharmaceutical waste solutions are designed for  facilities to efficiently manage pharmaceutical waste. Our comprehensive services include waste categorisation, staff training, and ongoing support for your team members to help ensure safety and regulatory compliance.

Industry Leader

We collect and dispose of all pharmaceutical waste bins, containing out-of-date pharmaceuticals, controlled drugs destruction kits, cytotoxic and cytostatic waste and recalled pharmaceutical stock.

Protecting the Environment and Your Communities

Stericycle was a pioneer of eco-conscious pharmaceutical waste disposal and to this day, we’re committed to the innovation of new products and services to help our customers reach their sustainability goals. 

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Non-hazardous medicinal products and items contaminated with non-hazardous medicines

The blue waste stream is used for waste medicinal products that are not cytotoxic or cytostatic.

Blue-stream pharmaceutical waste bins must be sent for incineration at a suitably authorised facility. Blue-lidded containers are for any waste which contains non-hazardous medicinal drugs that are expired, unused, contaminated, damaged, denatured or no long needed.

Hazardous medicinal products and items contaminated with non-hazardous medicines

The purple waste stream is used for any waste contaminated by hazardous cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines (e.g. chemotherapy drugs and birth control).

Purple-stream pharmaceutical waste bins must be sent for above 1,000 degree incineration at a suitably authorised facility. Purple-lidded sharps units are for sharps that have been used in the administration of, or are contaminated by, hazardous cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines.  Purple-lidded containers are for any non-sharp waste contaminated with cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines, or hazardous drugs in their original packaging or blister packs, or denatured. .

Denaturing kits

Denaturing kits are used for the safe disposal of old medicines, including controlled drugs, that are in tablet, powder, liquid or ampoule form.

Once used, the kits can be disposed of in the relevant colour-coded container: blue-lidded pharmaeutical waste bins for denatured non-hazardous medicines and purple-lidded pharmaceutical waste bins for denatured hazardous medicines.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The term cytotoxic is used mainly to describe a substance that can cause harm to or damage to cells. Cytotoxic waste must be properly segregated for disposal by high temperature incineration.

Pharmaceutical waste is any waste which contains medicinal drugs that are expired, unused, contaminated, damaged or no longer needed.

Phamaceutical waste can be disposed of in different streams, depending on the type of pharmaceutical waste.

The Blue Waste stream is used for non hazardous medicines and medicinal products. 

The Purple Waste stream is used for Cytotoxic and Cytostatic medicines - hazardous medicinal products and items contaminated with hazardous medicines.

It depends on the kind of pharmaceutical waste you produce.

Non-hazardous pharmaceuticals can be disposed of in blue containers.

Cytotoxic and cytostatic medicines are disposed of in purple containers.

More information on the types of containers can be found here.

A denaturing kit is used for the safe disposal of old medicines that are in tablet, powder, liquid or ampoule form.

The can then be disposed of in either the Blue lidded or Purple lidded container, depending on whether the substance is non-hazardous or cytotoxic.