In cooperation with UK HealthCare, the Environmental Quality Management Department (EQM) has developed a waste management program that has been uniquely tailored to meet the needs of that sector. Based on their characteristics, medications can be categorized into three distinct types for disposal purposes:
- Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals,
- Non-Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals, and
- Controlled Substances.
Specific measures have been established within the Hospital and at Kentucky Clinic locations that facilitate the safe and convenient collection of these wastes.
Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals
Some medications possess certain inherent characteristics that meet the definition of a hazardous waste when they are disposed of or otherwise become unusable. This category of waste is placed in Hazardous Waste Pharmaceutical containers (black-colored plastic containers) and picked up throughout the HealthCare institution by EQM staff on a set schedule and moved to a centralized storage area where they are eventually handed off to a licensed hazardous waste contractor for proper management. A pharmaceutical waste ticket must be filled out completely before the pick-up of the container can occur.
Non-Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals
Other waste medications that do not fall into the Hazardous Waste Pharmaceutical category are generated in various pharmacies throughout UK HealthCare. These wastes are collected in 30-gallon blue-colored plastic containers. They are picked up on a set schedule by EQM staff and moved to a centralized storage area where they too are transferred to a licensed hazardous waste contractor for proper management.
Controlled substances are administered at numerous locations throughout UK HealthCare. To prevent illegal diversion, Rx Destroyer containers have been strategically placed in areas where controlled substances are used. When full these containers are picked up from the soiled utility rooms and moved to a centralized area and shipped off-site by a licensed hazardous waste contractor for proper management.