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How to Dispose of Bulk and Trace Chemotherapy Waste

MERI collects and properly destroys bulk and trace chemotherapy waste.

We can assist you with setting up a program that follow local, state and federal regulations for the disposal of these waste types.

For example, in Wisconsin, this guide from the WI DNR explains how to properly manage chemotherapy waste. In the state of Wisconsin, both trace and bulk chemo waste must be incinerated.

What’s the Difference between Bulk and Trace Chemo Waste?

Bulk or Trace…How do you know if what you have? What disposal bin should your chemo waste go into?

Here’s a summary of each:

Bulk Chemotherapy
Bulk chemotherapy waste is any waste that is has more than a residual amount of a chemo drug on it.
Examples include:
  • Drug dispensing devices or IV bags that are not completely empty
  • Spill cleanup materials.

Bulk chemotherapy waste should be put in RCRA containers that are DOT approved to transport this type of hazardous material. These containers are often the color black.

These bins must have a hazardous pharmaceutical waste label with the correct DOT hazard class. Only a hazardous waste transporter with an EPA permit can take it away for disposal. In addition, the waste must be destroyed as a hazardous waste at an EPA-permitted treatment facility.

Trace Chemotherapy
Trace chemotherapy wastes fall into two categories:
  • Items that have a residual amount of a chemotherapy drug. This could be an empty drug bottle, drug dispensing device or IV bag and tubing. (i.e. the container is “RCRA empty”)
  • Gloves, gowns, masks, goggles and other disposable items used when administering chemotherapy drugs.
Trace chemotherapy items are often put in yellow containers.

An affordable and compliant solution that many use to dispose of a small amount of trace chemotherapy waste is a mailback kit.

MERI’s mailback kits are often used by:

  • Home infusion pharmacies
  • Traveling nurses who assist with in-home cancer treatments
  • Smaller medical clinics
  • Veterinarians
  • Biotech research companies

MERI’s trace chemo mailback kits meet all federal and state regulations for disposal of trace chemo waste.

Below is a video outlining the type of items that can go into the kit. In addition, it also shows how to package the kit before it is mailed back to MERI’s licensed treatment facility.

MERI can assist with Trace and Bulk Chemo Disposal

Let MERI assist you with setting up a program to dispose of your trace or bulk chemo waste.

Contact us at 608-257-7652 or email us at