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  Specific waste: Mixed solutions, suspensions, ointments, & creams

Some pharmaceuticals come pre-packaged in ready-to-use mixed solutions, suspensions, ointments and creams. An example of a mixture is dandruff shampoo (which contains selenium sulfide).

Unused and Unopened Mixtures: Discontinued, outdated or unused and unopened, products should be returned to the pharmacy to determine if it can be returned for credit to the Reverse Distributor. If it can’t be returned for credit, it is a non-viable pharmaceutical waste.

Partially Used Mixtures: When products have been opened and only partially used they become a non-viable mixture that cannot be returned to the Reverse Distributor. You must determine if it is a RCRA hazardous waste or a State-only dangerous waste

Empty mixture containers: Please see Specific Wastes: Empty containers

Designation of waste mixtures

RCRA hazardous wastes: Includes any non-viable formulations that designate under the RCRA Characteristics of Ignitability, Corrosivity, Reactivity or Toxicity, Chapter 173-303-090 WAC.

Please see Pharmaceutical Designation Flow Chart

Examples of mixtures that designate as a RCRA hazardous waste:

  • Silver sulfadiazine (or Silvadene), Silver Nitrate (D011)
  • Thimerosal and other mercury-containing ingredients (D009)
  • Unused or left over Barium Enemas (D005)
  • Non-aqueous solutions with flashpoint < 140° F (D001)
  • Compounding chemicals (glacial acetic acid and sodium hydroxide) (D002 if pH is 2.0 or less or 12.5 and greater.)

State-only dangerous waste: You can assume any non-viable mixtures that are not RCRA hazardous waste are State-only dangerous waste. To determine that it is not a State-only dangerous waste, you must know the concentration of all the constituents as well as the acute toxicity information of those ingredients, Chapter 173-303-100 WAC.

Please see Pharmaceutical Designation Flow Chart

Management of waste mixtures

Viable mixtures: Mixtures that are eligible for credit from a manufacturer, wholesaler, or reverse distributor are a viable pharmaceutical and not considered waste. Viable pharmaceuticals include any unused and/or unopened pharmaceutical that receive a credit. Items not receiving a credit must be managed as a non-viable waste.

RCRA hazardous waste mixture: Dispose as a hazardous waste at a RCRA-permitted facility.

State-only dangerous waste mixtures: Dispose at a RCRA-permitted facility or as excluded waste at an incinerator meeting the criteria of the conditional exclusion Chapter 173-303-071(3)(nn) WAC

NOTE: Do not dispose of these liquids down the drain or into soiled linens destined for the laundry. Authorization by your local sewer authority is required for disposal of any process waste to sanitary sewer. Sewer agencies may NOT accept dangerous wastes. The sewer authority will also consider how the compounds will affect their treatment system and the microorganisms.