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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

How to Hold a Pharmaceutical Collection

The purpose of this guide is to help municipalities, pharmacies, law enforcement agencies, community groups or pharmacies hold a household pharmaceutical collection. The required steps are outlined below. See the Collection Planning Checklist for tips on holding a successful event. Download the guidelines and NYS DEC forms (PDF, 131 KB)

Instrucciones para el Evento de Recogído de Productos Farmacèuticos Domèsticos (PDF) 181 KB

Required Steps

Step 1 - Complete the necessary DEC forms

Before your event, complete the Household Pharmaceutical Collection Plan forms below and submit to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). See bottom of page for address and contact information. Allow 30 days to receive the variance determination from DEC that is needed to hold your household pharmaceutical collection event.

  • Form A (PDF, 76 KB) identifies the event location, date and time. You can identify single or multiple events for the year.
  • Form B (PDF, 78 KB) identifies the law enforcement officer you have established an agreement with to attend and maintain custody of the collected household pharmaceuticals from the point of collection through destruction. A law enforcement officer is always required at these collection events.
  • Form C (PDF, 66 KB) is a request for approval from NYSDEC for the household pharmaceutical destruction after your event.* Complete the event information section of the prewritten variance letter and return to NYSDEC. Pharmaceuticals collected at events and destroyed in New York, must be destroyed at a permitted solid waste combustion facility. See a complete list of waste facilities (PDF, 251 KB) You can request the variance for a calendar year to cover multiple events.

    Within thirty (30) days you will receive a variance determination from NYSDEC. If approved, send a copy of the variance approval to the municipal waste combustion facility.

* This form is required if the collected pharmaceuticals are incinerated in New York State. If the collected pharmaceuticals are incinerated outside of New York State, a variance is not required; however Forms "A" and "B" must be submitted to NYSDEC.

Step 2 - Get Approval from the NY State Department of Health

The Department of Health must also approve your household collection plan before the event takes place.. A form DOH-4446 is required. See "Links Leaving DEC's Website" at right for a link to form DOH-4446 and instructions.

Step 3 - Notify the U.S. Department of Justice

Inform the Dept. of Jutice's Drug Enforcement Administration of the date of your event.

Once all of the above forms are completed and approved, you are ready to hold your Household Pharmaceutical Collection Event.

Step 4 - On the Day of the Event

To Get Help

Please feel free to contact the agencies below with questions or concerns during the planning process.

New York State Department of Health
Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement
Riverview Center
150 Broadway
Albany, NY 12204
Phone: 1-866-811-7957

New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation

Division of Materials Management
Bureau of Permitting and Planning, Attn: M. Treers
625 Broadway, 9th Floor
Albany, New York 12233-7253
Phone: (518) 402-8678

U.S. Department of Justice
Drug Enforcement Administration
New York Division
99 Tenth Avenue
New York, New York 10011
Phone: (212) 337-1193


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