Nitroglycerin waste

Many waste pharmaceuticals that contain nitroglycerin are dangerous waste.

Managing nitroglycerin waste

In most cases, a waste product with nitroglycerin as the sole active ingredient is dangerous waste (see designating P codes). 

Medicinal formulations of nitroglycerin are not considered P-listed waste because they are weak and non-reactive. All nitroglycerin formulations must still be evaluated for the other hazardous characteristics and Washington state-only criteria.

It is a violation of the dangerous waste rules to dispose of these pharmaceuticals in the sewer, sharps container, or a medical waste container destined for a landfill.

Viable nitroglycerin

Nitroglycerin that is eligible for credit from a manufacturer, wholesaler, or reverse distributor is a viable pharmaceutical and not considered waste. Viable pharmaceuticals include any unused or unopened pharmaceutical that receives a credit. Items not receiving a credit must be managed as waste.

RCRA hazardous nitroglycerin waste

Includes non-viable formulations of nitroglycerin that designate under the characteristics of ignitable, corrosive, reactive, or toxic. All P- and U-listed wastes that are listed solely for ignitability, reactivity, or corrosivity characteristics may be excluded if they no longer exhibit that characteristic.

Manage as a dangerous waste at a RCRA-permitted facility. For example, a nitroglycerin injection solution may contain 5 mg nitroglycerin, 30 percent alcohol (v/v), 30 percent propylene glycol and pH adjusted water. Since the alcohol concentration is more than 24 percent, the formulation is still a RCRA hazardous waste for the characteristic of ignitability (waste code D001).

State-only dangerous waste

You can assume nitroglycerin formulations that are not RCRA hazardous waste are state-only dangerous waste. To determine that a waste is not a state-only dangerous waste, you must know the remaining concentration of the nitroglycerin and other ingredients as well as the acute toxicity information of those ingredients.

Manage as either a dangerous waste at a RCRA-permitted facility or as excluded waste at an incinerator meeting the criteria of the Conditional Exclusion.