Managing pharmaceutical waste is critical in any healthcare setting, including in veterinary clinics or animal hospitals. Veterinary services are similar to human healthcare clinics which generate non-hazardous and hazardous medication waste. Biomass and pharmaceutical materials and chemicals must be segregated and disposed of properly according to all federal regulations for drug disposal.
Vet clinics and animal hospitals must be aware of and follow their specific state’s guidelines for medical waste disposal, which can be more stringent than federal regulations. Veterinary hospitals should establish procedures to segregate pharmaceutical waste into different categories such as:
- General (municipal solid waste)
- Bio waste (pathological and infectious waste)
- Recyclable (sometimes optional)
According to the Veterinary Compliance Assistance, the definition of medical waste and regulated medical waste (RMW) can vary in different states, although typically:
- Medical waste refers to waste items from healthcare clinics, hospitals, doctor and dentist offices, laboratories and veterinary hospitals that are not considered to be general waste.
- Regulated medical waste (RMW) is also referred to as infectious or biohazardous waste and poses a significant risk of infection transmission to people.
Bio Waste in Vet Clinics
Biohazardous waste should be disposed of in biohazard red plastic containers or bags marked for bio hazardous waste. Towels or wipes that become contaminated with animal fluids and anything that would be considered pathological waste in human healthcare should go in a bio waste container.
Hazardous Medication Waste
Hazardous waste as defined under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) should be kept separate from other waste, although vet clinics do not typically produce too much hazardous waste. If animal clinics do produce hazardous waste it is most often as a small quantity generator.
Veterinary Pharmaceutical Waste
Any veterinary facility handling pharmaceuticals must be extremely cautious to ensure proper disposal of expired or unused medications. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issues regulations regarding the classification and disposal of pharmaceuticals, particularly controlled substances which are classified into 5 various drug schedules.
Managing Medication Waste Management
Careful consideration should be taken when choosing the types of drug disposal containers for vet clinics and all staff should be thoroughly trained in medication waste management. Guidelines for containers may be mandated by the state or county of the facility and in most cases require that a sharps container be puncture resistant, spill-proof, and leak-proof.
Staff should be trained in segregating medical waste and the type of personal protective equipment that should be worn when handling hazardous materials. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) should be available for all chemicals onsite.
C2R Global Manufacturing, Inc. is the maker of Rx Destroyer™, a safe and easy to use drug disposal system that provides solutions to veterinary clinics for medication waste disposal. Rx Destroyer™ is available in a variety of sizes for general purpose or liquid medications, with features like a tethered cap and lock-boxes. The patented* formula uses chemical digestion, a method that meets DEA regulations for drug destruction, as a quick and easy method to dispose of pharmaceutical waste.
Rx Destroyer™ provides pharmaceutical waste disposal solutions that support best management practices for veterinary clinics. Rx Destroyer prevents environmental contamination with safe and proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste. Contact us to learn more about drug disposal solutions for vet clinics.