November 7, 2019

Current shortage of RUM bins for community pharmacy

Currently the RUM Project is experiencing difficulties in supplying RUM bins to all of the wholesalers for distribution to community pharmacies and we don’t anticipate that any RUM  bins will be available at your wholesaler until later in November. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and are working hard to have the RUM bins available through your wholesaler as soon as possible.

The reason for this delay is the transition from the existing RUM bin to a brand new RUM bin design in the very near future. The new RUM bin has been designed with safety in mind and has a secure one-way entry, similar to a sharps bin.  The RUM Project is working with NPSA to ensure that the new design of the RUM bin will provide the required safety and security.

One emphasis for the redesign is on sustainability, with the bin made predominantly out of recycled materials here in Australia. In lieu of this, we encourage all pharmacists to recycle any packaging separately before placing the unwanted or expired medicine in the new bin, so that the space can be maximised for its correct use.

Project Manager, Toni Riley would like to encourage all pharmacies to continue accepting returned medicines from consumers to ensure that the safe disposal of medicines continues. This remains an important and valuable role performed by all community pharmacies but would like to remind pharmacists that it is important to store any returned medicines safely in the dispensary until such time that RUM bins are available. The RUM Project is working hard to ensure that supplies of RUM bins will be available as soon as possible and this shortage will not occur again.

We’d like to thank you for your patience and will be updating you as soon as the new bin is available again through your wholesaler. Get in touch for any enquiries. 


The Return of Unwanted Medicines Project is a free service that offers a way to dispose of unwanted or expired medicines safely and conveniently at your local community pharmacy. Find out more about the service here.

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