What Is Universal Waste?
Universal wastes are widely generated hazardous wastes such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs, and devices containing mercury. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reduced the regulatory requirements to encourage proper treatment and recycling, therefore allowing these wastes to be managed as universal wastes instead of hazardous wastes. The Universal Waste Rule, 40 CFR Part 237 allows states to modify the rule and add additional universal wastes, e.g., dental amalgam waste and pharmaceuticals, to their individual state regulations.
Common wastes that can be managed as universal wastes:
- Batteries (alkaline, lead acid, lithium/lithium ion, nickel-cadmium)
- Devices containing mercury (mercury-switch thermostats, mercury thermometers; dental amalgam in certain states)
- Bulbs (straight fluorescent lamps, u-shape and circular fluorescent lamps, and more)
Note - States can expand the scope of materials falling under the Universal Waste Rule.
Universal Waste Services
- DOT-approved collection containers
- Prepaid return shipping
- Proper treatment or recycling when applicable
- Online proof of treatment/Certificate of Recycling
- Auto-reorder and auto-shipping options
- Meet or exceeds the standards of the Universal Waste Rule