Medical Waste Segregation Series: Blue Containers for Pharmaceutical Waste

Blue medical waste containers are designated for disposal of pharmaceutical waste.

If you’ve been following along with our Medical Waste Segregation Series you’ve likely learned some valuable information on why a color-coding system for containers is necessary for both safety and sanitation at medical and healthcare facilities.

The last color in our series is blue.

Blue medical waste containers are designated for the disposal of pharmaceutical waste (full and partially used). Items to include in these bins are:

  • Pills
  • Injectables
  • Antibiotics

The bins are typically blue but sometimes also include white on the bin. These can also go by the name: “pharmaceutical waste containers.”

Any drug labeled with “special handling required” will need to be discarded in a blue bin.

While safe drug disposal is important, there are items that should never go in the blue bin. These include:

  • Unopened and unused pharmaceuticals as they can be returned to a pharmacy.
  • Any vials, syringes or IV bags that are empty.
  • Narcotics and other controlled substances.

The problem with pharmaceutical waste not being disposed of properly is that it makes its way into the environment and has been found in fish and even drinking water. To prevent environmental contamination and to keep those responsible for discarding the waste safe from harm, the use of blue bins is critical.

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Blue Containers for Pharmaceutical Waste

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