Trace Chemotherapy Waste

Chemotherapy Waste Disposal

MERI, a division of Logistics Recycling, Inc., collects and properly destroys bulk and trace chemotherapy waste.

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



Yellow chemotherapy waste bag

What is the Difference Between Trace Chemotherapy and Bulk Chemotherapy?

Trace Chemotherapy

This type of waste falls 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 that are 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:2 Gallon Trace Chemotherapy Disposal Mailback Container (Qty 1)

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

Bulk Chemotherapy

This waste has more than a residual amount of chemotherapy drugs.
Examples include:
  • Drug dispensing devices or IV bags that are not empty
  • Spill cleanup materials.

Black Hazardous Collection ContainerBulk chemotherapy waste should be in an RCRA container. This means the Department of Transport rates the container to carry this hazardous material. The container is often colored black.

The label on the container must read “hazardous pharmaceutical waste.” Secondly, it must have a DOT hazard class label. An EPA-permitted hazardous waste transporter is the only one who can collect it. Finally, it can be disposed of at an EPA-permitted and authorized treatment facility.