Did you know that improper management of universal waste is one of the top generator violations? The EPA’s universal waste regulations provide strict standards for hazardous waste management for federally designated “universal wastes,” including:
- Mercury-containing equipment; and
- Bulbs (lamps).
According to the EPA, “The regulations govern the collection and management of these widely generated wastes, thus facilitating environmentally sound collection and proper recycling or treatment.”
These regulations also ease the regulatory burden on retail stores and others that wish to collect these wastes. They encourage the development of municipal and commercial programs to reduce the quantity of these wastes going to municipal solid waste landfills or combustors.
In addition, the regulations also ensure that the wastes subject to this system will go to appropriate treatment or recycling facilities pursuant to the full hazardous waste regulatory controls.
The federal universal waste regulations are set forth in 40 CFR part 273. States can modify the universal waste rule and add additional universal waste(s) in individual state regulations, so check with your state for the exact regulations that apply.
To stay in compliance, it is helpful to remember that universal waste batteries in poor condition must be stored in a closed container and must be labeled “Universal Waste Batteries,” “Waste Batteries,” or “Used Batteries.” Similarly, universal waste lamps must be stored in a closed container and must be labeled “Universal Waste Lamps,” “Waste Lamps,” or “Used Lamps.”
Sharps Compliance offers many universal waste solutions, such as lamp and battery boxes and pails in various sizes. These UN-rated, DOT-approved products are perfect for recycling fluorescent and HID bulbs and dry cell and lead acid batteries.
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