[Pharmwaste] Role of the Pharmacist in PharmWaste Management

Barry Fernandez Barry at clean-fuels.net
Sat May 19 18:42:54 EDT 2007

Hello Daniel,
I am on the waste disposal side of the business, particularly
chemotherapy waste.  Our experience has been a combination of a lack of
regulatory education on the proper disposal of waste pharmaceuticals and
budgetary constraints.

More often than not we find that hospitals will have a chemotherapy
waste program in place but when it comes to the plethora of other
pharmaceuticals, they are under the impression that it's okay to dispose
of them as red-bag (biohazardous waste) or sewering it down the drain.
When speaking with pharmacists, we try to inform them that what they are
doing is wrong.  The reaction is always the same... Shocked disbelief,
followed by a request that we prove our claim, and finally a discussion
about having to meet with the administrative staff since it is not a
budgeted waste stream.

Here in Florida, we aren't allowed to incinerate, treat, or otherwise
dispose of RCRA regulated hazardous waste.  It all has to be shipped out
of state which increases transportation and brokerage costs, making it
an expensive proposition.

Florida just passed new regulations specifically addressing
pharmaceutical waste.  This went into effect just last month, but it
gives generators greater flexibility by allowing them to ship
pharmaceutical waste to universal waste handlers who will be able to
bulk shipments. Not only will this decrease the cost of transportation
and disposal, but it is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness on
the proper handling and disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals,
both at the institutional level as well as households.

Education is key.


Clean Fuels of Florida, Inc.
D. Barry Fernandez, President
2635 NE 4th Avenue
Pompano Beach, FL 33064
Tel:  954-791-9588
Fax: 954-791-9366
Toll Free: 800-725-8711
barry at clean-fuels.net

More information about the Pharmwaste mailing list