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Many of Heritage’s customers requested that we provide a mail back service for universal and other wastes. Heritage’s initial LifeCycle program offers mail back services for mercury containing lamps, batteries, and CESQG consumer packaged pharmaceuticals. Additional products will be added soon.

The Universal Waste Rule is a modification of the Hazardous Waste Rules, enacted under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which is designed to reduce regulatory management requirements to foster the environmentally sound recycling or disposal of specified categories of commonly generated hazardous wastes. This Rule was originally promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as 40 CFR part 273, “Standards for Universal Waste Management”. General categories of widely generated (i.e., “universal”) hazardous wastes: (1) mercury containing lamps, (2) waste batteries; (3) certain recalled, obsolete or unused pesticide products; and (4) discarded mercury-containing equipment. States can modify the universal waste rule and add additional universal waste(s) in individual state regulations so check with your state for the exact regulations that apply.

These regulations ease the regulatory burden on retail stores and others that wish to collect these wastes and encourage the development of municipal and commercial programs to reduce the quantity of these wastes going to municipal solid waste landfills or combustors.

The EPA is proposing to add hazardous pharmaceutical wastes to the Universal Waste Rule in order to provide a system for disposing hazardous pharmaceutical wastes that is protective of public health and the environment. The proposed addition will make it easier for generators to collect and properly dispose of these items as hazardous wastes, resulting in a simpler and more streamlined waste management system. This proposed rule applies to: pharmacies, hospitals, physicians’ offices, dentists’ offices, outpatient care centers, ambulatory health care services, residential care facilities, veterinary clinics, and other facilities that generate hazardous pharmaceutical wastes. The proposed rule encourages generators to dispose of non-hazardous pharmaceutical waste as universal waste, thereby removing this unregulated waste from wastewater treatment plants and municipal solid waste landfills. The addition of hazardous pharmaceutical waste to the Universal Waste Rule will facilitate the collection of personal medications from the public at various facilities so that they can be more properly managed.

In the interim until the pharmaceutical wastes are added to the universal waste rule, Heritage is offering a Pharmaceutical Disposal (Heritage PhD) mail back program for Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG). Heritage also offers containers for disposal of DEA controlled substances through the mail for registrant to registrant transfers only. Other generators may use the programs for non-regulated pharmaceutical wastes. The program will provide a cost effective, environmentally sound solution for disposing of compatible waste medications in consumer commodity packaging. The pharmaceutical wastes will be disposed through secure, documented destruction to prevent the release of medications into the environment. Once the pharmaceuticals are added to the Universal Waste regulations, this product will be available to all generators.