Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship

Spilled pill bottles and needle container

Program News

  • On August 3, 2022, The Drug Takeback Solutions Foundation resubmitted annual program budgets for covered drugs and home-generated sharps waste.
  • On July 29, 2022, UltiMed submitted a revised 2021 annual report for home-generated sharps waste to meet conditions in this Request for Approval.
  • On July 29, 2022, MED-Project resubmitted annual program budgets for covered drugs and home-generated sharps waste.
  • On June 27, 2022, CalRecycle posted the lists of stewardship organizations, covered entities, authorized collection sites, and pharmacies consistent with the requirements of PRC section 42035(a)(1).
  • On June 23, 2022, CalRecycle issued compliance determinations for MED-Project’s revised stewardship plans for covered drugs and home-generated sharps waste, MED-Project’s 2021 annual report for home-generated sharps waste, UltiMed’s revised stewardship plan for home-generated sharps waste, and UltiMed’s 2021 annual report for home-generated sharps waste. For more information, visit CalRecycle’s Pharmaceutical Waste Stewardship PlanHome-Generated Sharps Waste Stewardship Plan, and Home-Generated Sharps Waste Annual Reporting webpages.
  • On June 1, 2022, MED-Project resubmitted its 2021 annual report and annual program budget for covered drugs and its annual program budget for home-generated sharps waste. On June 2, 2022, UltiMed resubmitted its annual program budget for home-generated sharps waste. On June 6, 2022, The Drug Takeback Solutions Foundation resubmitted annual program budgets for its stewardship programs.
  • On May 17, 2022, The Drug Takeback Solutions Foundation submitted a revised stewardship plan for covered drugs to meet conditions in this Request for Approval and a revised stewardship plan for home-generated sharps waste to meet conditions in this Request for Approval.

Unwanted and improperly managed pharmaceutical drugs and home-generated sharps waste present significant public health, safety, and environmental problems at the end of their useful lives. These include negative impacts to water quality, sanitation, and solid waste, hazards for recycling workers, and increased potential for accidental poisonings and abuse by persons for which the medication was not intended.

California was the first state in the nation to pass a stewardship law for both pharmaceuticals and home-generated sharps waste.

The Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Program (Public Resources Code (PRC) sections 42030-42036.4) established industry-run statewide pharmaceutical and home-generated sharps waste stewardship program(s) to require safe and convenient disposal options for pharmaceutical drugs and home-generated sharps waste.

Resources and Contact Information

  • Listserv: Click here to sign up for email updates related to CalRecycle’s oversight of the Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Law. You can review previous messages by visiting the Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Listserv Archive.
  • Pharmaceutical and Sharps Program Lists: Click here to find the listing of compliant stewardship organizations, covered entities, and authorized collection sites based on the approved stewardship plans. Distributors, wholesalers, pharmacies, and retailers must monitor these posted listing to determine whether the products being sold or offered for sale are supplied by a covered entity. This site also provides a listing of pharmacies.
  • Public Notices: For public notices related to CalRecycle’s oversight of the Pharmaceutical and Sharps Waste Stewardship Law (e.g., department decisions regarding regulations, plan approval, etc.) please visit the CalRecycle public notices page.
  • CalRecycle Contact: Please contact pharmasharps@calrecycle.ca.gov for questions or more information.
  • Board of Pharmacy Contact: Please contact BOPstewardship@dca.ca.gov for questions or to submit information, pursuant to sections 42031 and 42032(b)(1) of the Public Resources Code.
  • California Department of Public Health Contact: Please contact MedicalWaste@cdph.ca.gov for questions.
  • California Department of Toxic Substances Control: Please visit this webpage and contact PharmStewardship@dtsc.ca.gov for questions.