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Disposing of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste

Improper disposal of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste, also known as universal waste, can cause health and environmental concerns for humans, plants and animals. The disposal is regulated, federally and locally.

San Diego Medical Waste’s knowledge and expertise in this matter can help you stay compliant with these laws and regulations and safe for the environment.

Universal waste is any hazardous waste created in the home or many businesses; it must be properly stored, manifested, transported and incinerated, following specific regulations and using federally permitted transporters and incineration firms.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has its own guidelines for waste, which is generated for businesses and homes; it is waste that is dangerous or potentially harmful to our health or the environment and is outlined and defined by the EPA.

Hazardous Waste Includes: liquids, solids, gases, sludge, wastewater, contaminated soil, used oil, old tires, by-products of manufacturing processes, televisions, computers, other electronic devices and discarded, used material and discarded, un-used commercial products; this includes, cleaning fluids, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, batteries, mercury-containing devices, fluorescent bulbs, and certain dental wastes, such as dental x-ray fixer, lead foils and amalgam.

Hazardous waste can include anything that exhibits ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity.

Pharmaceutical Waste Includes: any medication that is expired, unused, contaminated, damaged or no longer needed.

While each type of pharmaceutical waste is handled differently, it must be handled in accordance with the rules and regulations, surrounding hazardous waste.

The Universal Waste Rule encourages proper disposal and limits the burden of storage, handling, treatment and recordkeeping. All businesses, small and large, should have a hazardous waste plan, including the recycling of universal wastes.

For more information, contact San Diego Medical Waste: or 619-990-4604.

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