By: Alberta Pharmacists’ Association

ENVIRx is a provincial medication and sharps disposal program administered by the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA). Pharmacists apply to participate in the ENVIRx program, which is available to community pharmacies for the safe disposal of post-consumer pharmaceutical waste.

Albertans are encouraged to return old or unused medications and sharps to their community pharmacy for proper and safe disposal. Through this program, pharmacies help promote public safety and ensure that medications are disposed of properly, to prevent them from ending up in our landfills and water systems.

Each year, participating pharmacies are provided up to 24 large disposal containers that hold about 12 kg of medication. Pharmacists collect used needles, prescription medications, over-the-counter products, and natural health products. The full containers are then picked up and delivered to a facility where the needles/sharps are sterilized and the medications are incinerated in a way that breaks down the chemical bonds in the medications, rendering them non-retrievable. Through this destruction process, the medications are altered in such a way that they are no longer considered an environmental hazard.

This program is funded entirely by the Alberta Pharmacists’ Association, with donations from Innovative Medicines Canada (IMC) and the Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA).