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Hazardous Waste and Universal Waste Management

Hazardous Waste and Universal Waste Management

When dealing with hazardous waste, it’s important to know what can and cannot be classified as universal waste.

When dealing with hazardous waste, it’s important to know what can and cannot be classified as universal waste. Before you can manage or dispose of any waste materials, you need to make sure that it will not react with anything else it might come in contact with.

What is Universal Waste?

There are four main types of universal waste. They are, as designated by the EPA:

  • Batteries: These batteries contain nickel and cadmium, or lead-acid.
  • Pesticides: These pesticides are ones that have been recalled or remaining stocks of chemicals that are no longer used.
  • Mercury: Mercury can be considered universal waste, as well but it mainly has to do with pieces of equipment that contain mercury, such as thermostats.
  • Lamps:  Lamps can also be considered universal waste. This does not necessarily mean the lamps themselves are hazardous, just the materials used inside the lightbulbs. Fluorescent light bulbs are common enough that it’s easy to assume that they aren’t hazardous, but they can be.

Universal Waste Regulations

Considering the different types of universal waste, it should come as no surprise that there are many rules and regulations that govern their handling and disposal. These rules include, among other factors, notification of hazardous waste, labeling, employee training, shipping off-site, and exporting the materials across state lines.

Benefits of Universal Waste Management

Incorporating universal waste management into your procedures for dealing with hazardous waste also has its benefits. For instance, you may be able to store universal waste for up to a year before you are obligated to dispose of it. However, during this time you must ensure that it is all stored safely so that it does not present a risk to people or the environment. Labeling the universal waste is also much simpler, since all you need to do is attach a label indicating what is inside the package or container – “Universal Waste – Batteries” or “Universal Waste – Mercury.”


No matter what kind of environmental issue you may have, AEG Environmental can help. We handle every situation with care, dedication, and a commitment to exemplary customer service. When you have an emergency, you can rely on us! Need training? We can handle that too! We train in a wide variety of environmental management areas so that your company can remain compliant with EPA, DOT, and OSHA. Make sure to check out our blog for the latest and greatest in the waste management world! You should also follow us on social media for updates.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, October 18th, 2018 at 3:43 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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