Edition 85
Proper Drug Disposal Keeps Earth and Streets Clean
by Lawrence Hotz, Covanta

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Think hard before you throw out that next piece of trash. Each American generates around 4.4 pounds of trash each day, of which around 1.51 pounds is recycled, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Proper processing of pharmaceutical drug products that are removed from the marketplace is known as Reverse Logistics.

WDSrx provides third party logistics services and value-added solutions to the life sciences industry. The Boca-Raton, FL based firm is authorized by the DEA as a Reverse Logistics company to lawfully remove pharmaceutical drug products including Controlled Substances (Schedules II-V) from the marketplace for return to the manufacturer or for regulatory compliant disposition.

Responsible handling of medications is an important consideration for patients and others who have access to drug products. They are dangerous when not used properly by their intended recipient.

There are many benefits to assisting with the proper disposal of pharmaceutical drug products:

1. Minimize Diversion – Many patients do not finish their prescriptions making the remaining medication easily accessible to people who may harm themselves or who may do harm to others
2. Environmental Protection – According to one study, over $5 billion worth of drugs in unopened packages are placed into the garbage annually. Products returned through proper channels are kept out of landfills and eliminate the possibility of potential contamination to land and water from unapproved disposal methods
3. Decrease Drug Abuse – When unused and expired medications are removed promptly from the marketplace, the supply of drugs with the potential for abuse is reduced
4. Safety and Security – Effective return of pharmaceutical drug products helps keep them off the streets, contributing to safer neighborhoods
5. Following Regulations – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) support the responsible disposal of medicines by using Take-Back Programs or by Authorized Collection Agents

The Reverse Logistics department at WDSrx is overseen by Reverse Logistics Manager Jason Solomon. Jason works with manufacturers and healthcare providers around the country.

Drug products received in the pharmaceutical reverse logistics department are itemized and the details are recorded for each shipment. Every item goes through a screening process to determine whether it is suitable for return or disposition. Items set for destruction are accompanied to a special facility run by Covanta Environmental Solutions that is authorized by the DEA to properly dispose pharmaceutical drug products and Controlled Substances (Schedules I-V).

According to Kip Buckley, Solutions Sales Manager at Covanta Environmental Solutions, “Covanta works with WDSrx to find sustainable solutions to their waste management disposal needs. We take drug products and transform them into renewable energy to power homes and businesses.” Solomon agrees. “The pharmaceutical reverse logistics process is environmentally conscious and socially responsible. Our team and our supply chain partners including Covanta take our responsibilities seriously, helping maintain the integrity of the entire pharmaceutical supply chain.”


Prior to disposing and recycling, waste is weighed and documented for accuracy. Covanta produces a waste generation summary for WDSrx showing the quantity of waste processed and converted to energy. The WDSrx headquarters facility in Boca Raton, FL recycled 189 tons of pharmaceutical drug products in 2016 creating 368 megawatt hours of electricity able to power 33 homes for an entire year.

Covanta has been successfully helping the environment through their Energy-from-Waste operations and procedures. They processed and recycled over 43 tons of confiscated materials with most being illegal substances. Disposing pharmaceuticals by flushing them down the toilet poses a risk to our water supply. Furthermore, Covanta’s operations are safer for the environment because they keep waste out of landfills.

The partnership between WDSrx and Covanta Environmental Solutions preserves the environment, generates clean energy and prevents diversion of pharmaceutical drug products.

For further information about WDSrx Reverse Logistics capabilities, visit www.wdsrx.com.
Growing up with five siblings, Larry Hotz learned the art of story-telling at an early age. It got him out of a lot of jams. Currently his creative skills recognize compelling information, determine methods to create awareness based on selected target markets, implement innovative programs to distribute messages and measure performance against pre-determined objectives. His 30-year career launched in the fashion and beauty industry attaining progressively senior PR and marketing positions with pioneering design firms including Donna Karan and Hugo Boss. Later, Hotz founded a data analysis agency to measure the effectiveness of marketing programs for global luxury goods companies that he ran for 12 years. Moving from New York to Florida, his work shifted from promoting lifestyle brands to the pharmaceutical supply chain, where his experience proves beneficial as these two areas of interest increasingly overlap. Hotz holds a B.A. (Economics) from McGill University and has taught at and earned a degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). When off the phone, Larry is active in his local synagogue and is involved with charitable organizations including Family Promise, Habitat for Humanity and In The Pines. He resides in Boca Raton, FL and is devoted to his two daughters and the AA Jupiter Hammerheads baseball team.

Justin Runsdorf performs multiple functions on the WDSrx marketing team. He currently attends University of Arizona studying communications. He divides his time between Tucson, AZ and Boca Raton, FL.

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