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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.

You no longer need a variance from New York State DEC to hold a pharmaceutical collection event.

Law enforcement and communities partnering with law enforcement can hold collection events as long as they comply with:

  1. The requirements of the Controlled Substances Disposal Rule and Public Health Law §3343-b and
  2. Ensure that collected pharmaceuticals disposed in the state are destroyed in a municipal waste combustion facility permitted under Part 360 or by another method approved by the DEC.
  3. New York State DEC no longer requires a variance.

A list of permitted municipal waste combustors located in New York State can be found on the NYS DEC Division of Materials Management webpage, Municipal Waste Combustion Facilities.

For more information about these changes, see the Enforcement Letter.

Contact the NY State Department of Health

Contact the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement of The Department of Health before the event takes place. See DOH Narcotic Enforcement Forms webpage (link leaves DEC website). Forms regarding pharmaceutical collections are listed in the middle of the DOH page under 'Narcotic Enforcement'.

Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement
Riverview Center
150 Broadway
Albany, NY 12204
Telephone: 1 (866) 811-7957
Fax: (518) 402-0709
E-mail: narcotic@health.ny.gov


More about How to Hold a Pharmaceutical Collection:

  • DEC Enforcement Discretion Letter, 6 NYCRR Parts 360 and 373 - NYS DEC Enforcement Letter announcing that pharmaceutical collections in compliance with the requirements of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's Controlled Substances Disposal Rule and Public Health Law §3343-b will not be considered a violation of the provisions of Part 360 and Part 373 cited in this letter.
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