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The universal waste regulations streamline hazardous waste management standards for specific, federally designated wastes. The rule is designed to reduce the amount of hazardous waste items to landfills, to encourage recycling and proper disposal of certain common hazardous wastes, and to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses that generate these wastes.
In California, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) enforces the state’s solid and hazardous waste laws, which includes the regulation of universal wastes.
The federal regulations identify five specific categories of materials that can be managed as universal wastes: batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, lamps, and non-empty aerosol cans. The part 273 regulations define the type of materials that fall under the universal waste categories and specify in what situations that material can be considered a universal waste.
California allows the following wastes to be regulated as universal wastes: lamps, batteries, mercury-containing devices, and electronic devices (e.g., cathode ray tubes, cathode ray tube glass), and non-empty aerosol cans. Unlike most states and federal EPA, California does not recognize any pesticides as universal wastes.
40 CFR 273 — Standards for Universal Waste Management
Basic container management and labeling
Shipping universal waste offsite
Notification and reporting
State-specific management standards