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Secure and compliant controlled substance solutions that you can rely on

Safe disposal options for controlled substances, such as unused medications, narcotics, cannabis and precursors, play an essential role in complying with government regulations and protecting our communities and environment. Our solutions scale to businesses of any size, so regardless of your waste challenges in this area, we'll mitigate your risk and give you the expert help you need.

The management of controlled (Schedule II-V) and non-controlled pharmaceutical waste is a critical issue for businesses and society at large. When not destroyed properly, these drugs can fall into the wrong hands and be misused and abused, or even contaminate soils and water supplies.

What’s more, pharmaceutical waste is under increased federal regulation, and failure to comply with these laws can result in fines up to $10 million.

Service Offerings

We offer a variety of on-site and mail-in options for business, including:

  • Mail-in boxes and envelopes for the secure disposal of small quantities of medications
  • Secure collection kiosks, featuring federally-compliant liners, to allow customers and patients to easily dispose of unwanted drugs
  • Collection, transportation and destruction services for controlled substances, including prescription medications, narcotics, cannabis and precursors
  • Consulting services to help your business navigate the complex regulations surrounding pharmaceutical waste disposal


In addition, we offer various options for disposal of regulated medical waste.


Our Expertise

We are an international, DEA/Health Canada-registered reverse distributor with more than 25 years of experience in controlled substance management and destruction. We strictly adhere to federal regulations (Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1317), and the guidance we provide allows you to do the same.

Through our network of DEA/Health Canada Reverse Distributors and our 40+ Waste-to-Energy facilities, we destroy more than 10,000 tons of controlled substances annually.

20 million

pounds of controlled substances destroyed by Covanta Environmental Services every year

Our Process

Our closed loop process guarantees proper handling and secure destruction of your pharmaceutical waste.

Other benefits of the process include:chart showing closed loop pharmaceutical distribution system

  • Optimizing your sustainability goals with world-class, zero waste-to-landfill solutions and reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • Receiving environmentally-sound waste disposal options that support Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) commitments
  • Ensuring your pharmaceutical waste disposal is DEA/Health Canada and EPA/ECCC-compliant
  • Transforming your byproducts into clean, renewable energy to power communities and businesses

Covanta Environmental Solutions is also proud to work with governments and law enforcement agencies across the nation on drug collection programs.

“The public-private partnership between Covanta and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is the model of how success can be achieved by working in a collaborative manner. Lives will be saved because of this prescription drug take back container and disposal program, which is the only one of its kind in the nation. If we save one life, it will be worth it." 

R. Darrell Weaver
former director at the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics

Two men of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics posing with pharmaceutical waste