Trace Chemotherapy Waste

Chemotherapy Waste Disposal

MERI collects and properly destroys bulk and trace chemotherapy waste.

We can assist in helping you to follow your local, state and federal regulations when it comes to the disposal of each type of waste. For example, in Wisconsin, this guide from the WI DNR explains how to manage trace chemotherapy waste. 

What’s the Difference between

Trace and Bulk Chemo Waste?

Trace Chemotherapy

Trace chemotherapy wastes fall into two categories:
  • Items contaminated with residual amounts of chemotherapy drugs, such as empty drug bottles, drug dispensing devices or IV bags 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 placed in yellow containers.

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

MERI’s mailback kits are often used by:

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

Bulk Chemotherapy

Bulk chemotherapy waste is any waste that is contaminated with more than a residual amount of chemotherapy drugs.
Examples include:
  • Drug dispensing devices or IV bags that are not completely empty
  • Spill cleanup materials.

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

They must be labeled as hazardous pharmaceutical waste with the correct DOT hazard class. They must also be transported as hazardous waste by an EPA-permitted transporter and be properly managed as hazardous waste at an EPA-permitted and authorized treatment facility.