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 follows 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 trace 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?

How do you know if your chemotherapy waste is considered bulk or trace? What disposal bin does each chemo waste type go into?


Purchase our Trace Chemotherapy Mailback Kits

Bulk Chemotherapy

Bulk chemotherapy waste is any waste that has more than a residual amount of a chemo drug.

  • 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.  They 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 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.

Below is a video outlining the type of items that can go into the kit.  In addition, it 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

MERI’s trace chemo mailback kits meet all federal and state regulations for the disposal of trace chemo waste. Let us assist you with setting up a program to dispose of your trace or your bulk chemo waste.


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