Development of a Household Pharmaceutical Waste Collection Program for Atlanta, Georgia: An Analysis of Risk Factors and Public Awareness with a Comprehensive Collection Plan

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science


Environmental Policy & Mgmt


Leonard Pasquini


behavior survey; collection programs; controlled substances; Controlled Substances Act; hazardous wastes; household pharmaceutical waste; public awareness; RCRA; Universal Waste Rule


Decades of mixed messages from three federal agencies left many Americans unaware of the hazards associated with the indiscriminate disposal of unwanted or expired medicines. For this Capstone project, a systematic review of state and federal regulations was undertaken to determine how these laws obstruct household pharmaceutical waste collection. In addition, a survey of 654 Atlanta residents was conducted to evaluate unwanted medicine disposal habits, awareness of pharmaceutical compounds being detected in drinking water, surface, and ground waters, and willingness to participate in a household pharmaceutical waste collection program. Survey responses were tabulated to provide overall results and by age group, gender, and race. A household pharmaceutical waste collection plan was developed for the city and included as an appendix.

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