The Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA) is an industry-led, not-for-profit organization representing producers of consumer health products in Canada. HPSA was formed to fulfill a producers’ stewardship obligations in provinces with regulations that mandate the safe and effective collection and disposal of unwanted medications and used medical sharps. The organization works to support its community of stakeholders, protect the environment, and ensure Canadians can live a safe, healthy and clean lifestyle.
The Medications Return Program and Sharps Collection Program managed by HPSA are free of charge for pharmacists and consumers. Producers of consumer health products finance the programs.
HPSA currently operates in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island.
Any retail community pharmacy that is open to the public in the provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island may become a collection location. Participation in our take-back programs is voluntary and free of charge. To register, pharmacies should submit a “Collection Location Agreement” form.
Please note that the HPSA Collection Location Agreement is not a substitute for a commercial waste disposal service agreement. Before submitting the form, pharmacies should ensure they have a commercial waste disposal service agreement for the management of their own generated waste.
The term “retail community pharmacy” means an independent pharmacy, a chain pharmacy, a supermarket pharmacy, or a mass merchandiser pharmacy that is licensed as a pharmacy by the College of Pharmacists and that dispenses medications to the public at retail prices. The term does not include a pharmacy that dispenses prescription medications to patients primarily through the mail, nursing home pharmacies, long-term care facility pharmacies, hospital pharmacies or clinics.
HPSA needs to ensure that any commercial medical waste generated by the pharmacy (i.e. expired or unsold medication stocks, flu or immunization shots such as COVID-19 vaccine) is not being disposed of in the HPSA containers.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of commercial medical waste disposal service providers:
- Daniels Health – 1-888-952-5580
- ECS Cares – 1-800-263-1857
- Environmental 360 Solutions – 1-833-463-3607
- GIC Medical Disposal – 1-844-999-0118
- Medical Solution – 1-866-611-5519
- Stericycle – 1-866-783-7422
Only consumer returns are accepted in medications and sharps containers. Flu shots, COVID-19 shots or COVID-19 rapid tests are not accepted.
Pharmacies should accept any sharps containers (i.e. labelled with a biohazard symbol) from consumers. Used sharps should not be returned in bottles, tin cans or laundry detergent containers. Examples of accepted and not accepted sharps containers can be found here.
Your HPSA ID is a unique identification number of your pharmacy in HPSA’s programs. You can locate the HPSA ID number on HPSA’s location finder by inputting your pharmacy postal code.
You will receive an initial delivery of HPSA containers upon registration. Once containers are full, you can request a service online via the HPSA webpage. A Service and Supply Request Form (SSRF) can be completed and submitted here. Please note that if you are on a frequency delivery, you do not need to submit an SSRF.
The name of your service provider can be found in your HPSA Welcome e-mail.
- British Columbia – Environmental 360 Solutions Ltd. (formerly Whitecap Environmental) 1-866-489-4483
- Manitoba – Stericycle 1-866-783-7422
- Ontario – Stericycle 1-866-783-7422
- Prince Edward Island – MacInnis 1-902-892-9333
Your Service and Supply Request Form (SSRF) is forwarded to your service provider. They will contact you advising you on the date of your next service. Please note that if you are on a frequency delivery, you do not need to submit an SSRF.
Yes. To set up a service on a set frequency, please contact your service provider.
Your service provider will give you the Bill of Lading when the containers are picked up from your pharmacy. HPSA recommends keeping the shipping document for a period of two years.