Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Natural Resources

First Advisor

Christine Vatovec


Pharmaceutical waste is an emerging form of waste with significant impacts on the environment. This study reports the results of a state-wide phone survey on pharmaceutical purchasing, use and disposal behavior among Vermont residents (n = 421). The objectives of this study were: 1) to compare the demographic nature of populations who purchase and use medicaton to those associated with leftover medication, and 2) to evaluate the impact of disposal behavior in Vermont and to recommend strategies to minimize pollution. The findings of this study showed that approximately 93% of survey participants reported purchasing of medication, 60% reported leftover medication and 25% reported disposing of medications down-the-drain or via municipal trash, both of which are known pathways leading to environmental pollution. Results indicate that pharmaceutical waste is common in Vermont and that disposal behavior may be contributing towards pollution. The conclusion of this study is that better management of pharmaceutical waste is needed to protect the environment and public health.



Number of Pages

59 p.