The University of Iowa

SAFETYmatters - Disposal of Controlled Substances

Laboratory staff must first contact EHS to dispose of any controlled substances.  To ensure proper management, EHS has received approval from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to dispose of controlled substances through the application of a specific procedure.

Controlled substances can come in many forms.

  • Licensed researchers who want to dispose of controlled substances that are mixed with hazardous chemical waste must always consult with EHS to ensure compliance with hazardous waste regulations.
  • Controlled substances that have been used in research but are still considered “recoverable” must be disposed of by EHS.
  • Researchers wishing to dispose of controlled substances that are expired, unwanted, or no longer needed must first contact EHS for disposal.
  • Occasionally, a controlled substance is found but the ‘owner’ is not known or has left the UI. These abandoned controlled substances are considered ‘orphaned’. An official from the concerned department must take temporary procession of the controlled substance. The proper procedure for the disposal of orphaned controlled substance is found here: Orphaned Controlled Substances Disposal Procedure.

    Ultimately each licensed researcher is responsible to ensure controlled substances are properly disposed of and all necessary disposal forms are completed and submitted to the appropriate agency. EHS is here to assist to ensure that all these criteria are met.

    Specific guidance for the disposal of controlled substances waste can be found here: Controlled Substance Waste along with the Controlled Substance Disposal Guide and Controlled Substance Disposal Procedure.

     For assistance with controlled substance disposal contact John Silka at 319-335-8031.