NWPSC September Newsletter

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September 2014

Featuring Take Back of Unwanted Medicines

DEA's Final Rule on Return of Controlled Substances
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) published their final rule implementing the regulations of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010. The final rule allows drug manufacturers to take-back controlled substances with all other medicines, and allows more types of collection sites to accept controlled substances for proper disposal including:

  • Collection receptacles (i.e., permanent drop-off boxes) – operated by authorized drug manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, retail pharmacies, hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy, narcotic treatment centers, or law enforcement.
  • Take-back events – conducted by law enforcement agencies only.
  • Mail-back programs – operated by authorized drug manufacturers, distributors, reverse distributors, retail pharmacies, hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy, narcotic treatment centers, or law enforcement.
  • Long-term care facilities – the new Rule also allows for operation of collection receptacles at these facilities by an authorized retail pharmacy or by an authorized hospital/clinic with an on-site pharmacy.

Prior to this, only law enforcement agencies could accept controlled substances. The final rule will go into effect on October 9 and will take some time to fully implement because potential collectors must apply to DEA to amend their controlled substances registration if they wish to provide medicine take-back and disposal services. More information:

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day: Sept. 27
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day which will take place at participating law enforcement locations nationwide on Saturday, Sept. 27, 10am - 2pm. If you miss this event, some communities, pharmacies, and law enforcement in Washington are paying for temporary ongoing take-back programs to help you properly dispose of unwanted and expired medicines in your homes until a permanent statewide program is in place.

California medicine disposal campaign is "flush with success"
The California Product Stewardship Council's Don't Rush to Flush campaign was in the San Jose Mercury News. "Don't Rush to Flush" launched in Sacramento and Yolo counties in 2013 and will expand into Contra Costa and Santa Clara counties.

Other Product Stewardship in the News

Updated Washington Mercury-Containing Lights Product Stewardship Program Plan
The Mercury-Lights Product Stewardship Program Plan (PDF) was recently updated based on comments received during review. Portions of the Plan are still in process, such as the collection network, and are noted by PCA in the plan. The Updated Plan was conditionally approved by the Department of Ecology on August 29, 2014. The Conditional Approval Letter (PDF) outlines the conditions required to be completed before final approval of the Plan will be granted to PCA Product Stewardship, Inc. — from the Washington Mercury Lights Product Stewardship website.

Dialing Back On Cell Phone Waste
An article in the September 1 issue of Chemical and Engineering News details efforts to design for cell phone recycling, modularity, product stewardship and increasing the capture of rare earth metals and other components.

Carpet Stewardship Fails to Increase Carpet Recycling
In a Sept. 12 article in UPSTREAM, "US Carpet Recycling is in the Dumps, Literally", Bill Sheehan details the lack of recycling achieved by the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) industry organization and current carpet stewardship efforts.

An Examination of Governance within Extended Producer Responsibility Policy Regimes in North America
An article in Resources, Conservation and Recycling by Garth Hickle expounds upon EPR policy, exams the governance and allocation of responsibilities within EPR programs, and proposes a research agenda to improve performance. Subscription required but abstract is accessible.

Upcoming Events

  • EPR as a Solution to Illegal Tire Dumping (webinar): Sept. 30
  • Making the Most of Design for Waste Prevention and Reduction (webinar): Oct. 8
  • Understanding the Impacts of the DEA's Drug Take-Back Rule (webinar): Oct. 30

Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC)

The Northwest Product Stewardship Council (NWPSC) is a coalition of government agencies in Washington and Oregon working on solid waste, recycling, resource conservation, environmental protection, public health and other issues. Together with non-government agencies, businesses and individuals, we form a network that supports product stewardship and extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies and programs. For more information, contact info@productstewardship.net or visit us at www.ProductStewardship.net.

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