Regulation 13 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 states that:
The registered person must protect service users against the risks associated with the unsafe use and management of medicines, by means of the making of appropriate arrangements for the obtaining, recording, handling, using, safe keeping, dispensing, safe administration and disposal of medicines used for the purposes of the regulated activity
(Safety of Medicines, 2013:13)
Out of date, un-used and part used medications (which is inclusive of prescription feed that may contain medication, must be sealed and returned to the pharmacy that dispensed them so that they may be disposed of in accordance with the Hazardous Waste Regulations (2005) in order to protect the environment:
Drugs must first be denatured before being destroyed so that they cannot be retrieved, recovered or reused
The act prohibits the mixing of hazardous and non-hazardous wastes, which includes the prohibition of medicines being disposed of with normal household rubbish.
Prescription medications will have been "prescribed for you only. Do not pass it onto others. It may harm them, even if their signs of illness are the same as yours" 
(medication information leaflets)
To ensure compliance with the Hazardous Waste Regulations (Special Waste Regulations in Scotland) the correct segregation, storage and disposal of sharps waste is essential. The Health Technical Memorandum 07-01: Safe Management of Healthcare Waste (2013)(https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk) sets out guidelines on the safe and legal disposal of sharps waste.
What items are classed as 'sharps'?
- Hypodermic needles
- Razors and razor blades
- Test tubes
- Glass (broken or intact)
*the disposal of syringes differs depending upon whether it is classed as hazardous or non-hazardous waste. Please see Health Technical Memorandum 07-01 – Safe management of healthcare waste, page 21 for guidelines.
The disposal of sharps waste is determined by the medicinal contamination. This contamination determines the colour of disposal bin required for the type of sharps waste that is being disposed of. (www.initial.co.uk/sharps). Please speak to your local hospital for details about specific disposal methods depending upon the sharps that you use.
Hazard groups identified in the Hazardous Waste Regulations are shown below:
- H1: Explosive
- H2: Oxidising
- H3A: Highly Flammable
- H3B: Flammable
- H4: Irritant
- H5: Harmful
- H6: Toxic
- H7: Carcinogenic
- H8: Corrosive
- H9: Infectious
- H10: Toxic for reproduction
- H11: Mutagenic
- H12: Substances that release toxic gases
- H13: Sensitising
- H14: Ecotoxic
- H15: Waste capable by any means, after disposal, of yielding another substance, for example a leachate, which possesses any of the characteristics H1 to H14, including H14 for the first time.
 Safety of Medicines in Care Homes (2013) Learners Workbook: Safer Medication In Care Settings 1st edn; Medicines Management Team of Shropshire Country PCT.
 Information taken from medication information leaflets found inside prescription medicines.
 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/... /HTM_07-01_Final.pdf