Waste Collection


Pharmacies are required to accept returned medicines as detailed in the service specification below:

Essential Service 3 – Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Service Specification

Please note that Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Service Specification was published in 2004 and subsequent changes to environmental legislation and policy have occurred.

PSNC recommends that pharmacy staff should question people returning medicines to ensure there are no items in the returns which the pharmacy cannot safely dispose of, for example, chemicals or products that may be incompatible with others in the waste bin. In order to facilitate this discussion with the person returning the medicines, pharmacies may wish to use the following prompt card:

Unwanted Medicines Card (PDF)

Unwanted Medicines Card (Microsoft Word)

Waste Collection in Greater Manchester

Patient unwanted medicine returns to pharmacies are collected by Cannon Hygiene Ltd.

The medicine waste collection service has been commissioned to take place every eight weeks. Contractors and pharmacy staff are advised to maintain a note of each collection, and to report any failure to collect during the specified period in a timely manner to the team.

To report issues or to raise queries relating to your waste collection service, please contact Diane Murphy on 0113 825 5162, or send an email to england.gmtop@nhs.net

Further details regarding pharmacy waste can be found on the PSNC website.