What is an empty container?
Empty containers are solid waste and can be placed in the regular trash only after they've been properly emptied. Examples of pharmaceutical containers include:
- Intravenous (IV) bags and tubing.
- Vials and bottles.
How to empty a container
A container is considered empty once all of the following criteria is met:
- Emptied using all normal means (see below);
- Contains less than 3 percent of container capacity; and
- Did not contain a pharmaceutical designated as:
What is "normal means"?
- Fully depressing a syringe.
- Fully administering an IV bag.
- Withdrawing all the contents of a vial with a syringe.
When is a container considered dangerous waste?
A container is dangerous waste when:
- It does not meet all of the "empty" criteria given above.
- It contained a chemotherapy agent, unless the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) hazardous chemotherapy and containers have been identified and segregated.
When is a container dual waste?
An empty container is dual waste when it:
- Contained a pharmaceutical whose sole active ingredient is a:
- Contained a chemotherapy agent or other sole active pharmaceutical that is assumed to be a:
- P-listed RCRA waste; or
- WT01 state-only dangerous waste contaminated with body fluids.
How to manage containers of dangerous waste
- Manage as pharmaceutical dangerous waste.
- Manage dangerous waste syringes with needle attached as dual waste.
- Manage all chemotherapy containers as dangerous waste or under the guidelines in the NIOSH Alert: Preventing Occupational Exposures to Antineoplastic and Other Hazardous Drugs in Health Care Settings.