Disposal of Non-Controlled Injectables

VTH Policy # Pharm614

Implementation Date: 10/2021

Date of Last Revision: 3/6/2023

Next Review Due: 5/2023


Reviewed by VTH Administrative Team: 10/2021

Reviewed by VTH Board: N/A


Reviewed by Legal Counsel: N/A

Reviewed by Biosecurity Subcommittee: N/A

Subject to modification by the VTH Director without approval.


To dispose of non-controlled injectable medications that pose a risk in a safe manner. This applies to all non-controlled injectable medications for disposal. 

All injectable medications that are non-controlled and already drawn up into syringes will be disposed of in a bag of cat litter, with the appropriate disposal tag. If a bottle of medication is returned to the dispensary, then it will be assessed based upon risk and determined if it can be placed in the drug buckets or if it needs to be drawn up and disposed of in the cat litter.


All medications must be disposed / discarded appropriately, and in accordance to the policy. 

Procedure (if applicable)

  1. A one-gallon Ziploc bag should be filled halfway with cat litter and a waste accumulation container tag must be taped on the outside of the bag. This can be found on the last page of this policy. You may save this bag for additional non-controlled injectable liquids until the cat litter is saturated. 
  2. Once the cat litter is saturated it must be disposed of. To appropriately dispose of the saturated litter, ensure the bag is completely sealed with a tag appropriately attached. Then place the bag into one of the white chemical waste buckets which are located throughout the hospital and the Medication Dispensary.
  3. Syringes and needles may only be placed in sharps containers. It is not appropriate to place these in white chemical waste buckets or the trash. When placed in sharps containers, the syringe should be empty of its contents.
  4. The proper process for disposal is to review the medication label to ensure the drug is noncontrolled, then squirt the solution/suspension into the cat litter and dispose of the syringe and needle into the sharps container.
  5. All non-controlled vials can be returned to the medication dispensary pick up window or disposed of in the white buckets in ER, ICU or IMC. 
  6. Hazardous drugs can NOT be disposed of in these containers. (Chemotherapy drugs)
    a. Bring chemotherapy drugs to Medication Dispensary for proper disposal
  7. The following bottles of medication should be drawn up and disposed of in the cat litter based on their risk. All other non-controlled medications in vials/bottles can be placed in the disposal buckets picked up by DRS.
    a. Propofol
    b. Dexmedetomidine
    c. Atracurium
    d. Insulin (Humulin, NPH, ProZinc, Vetsulin, Lantus)
    e. Norepinephrine
    d. Potassium Chloride

Definitions (if applicable)

Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH): The collective clinical services of the Large Animal Clinic, Midwest Equine, the Small Animal Clinic, and the Veterinary Medicine South Clinic.


KeywordsPharmacy, dispensary, disposal, injectable, waste, risk, discard, trash, bucket, litter, sharps, accumulate, contain, hazardous, DRS, safety, white bucket, draw up, drawn up   Doc ID124604
OwnerJenny C.GroupUofI College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
Created2023-03-06 17:23 CDTUpdated2023-03-06 17:28 CDT
SitesUniversity of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
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