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.
The Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch of the Hawai’i Department of Health enforces the hazardous and universal waste regulations in the state.
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.
Hawaii recognizes all of the federal categories of universal waste, in addition to, electric items and solar panels.
40 CFR 273 — Standards for Universal Waste Management
11-273.1-10 Imports of universal waste.
- Aerosol can means a non-refillable receptacle containing a gas compressed, liquefied, or dissolved under pressure, the sole purpose of which is to expel a liquid, paste, or powder and fitted with a self-closing release device allowing the contents to be ejected by the gas.
- Battery means a device consisting of one or more electrically connected electrochemical cells which is designed to receive, store, and deliver electric energy. An electrochemical cell is a system consisting of an anode, cathode, and an electrolyte, plus such connections (electrical and mechanical) as may be needed to allow the cell to deliver or receive electrical energy. The term battery also includes an intact, unbroken battery from which the electrolyte has been removed.
- Electronic item , also referred to as universal waste electronic item, means a device containing a circuit board, or other complex circuitry, or a video display. Indicators that a device likely contains a circuit board include the presence of a keypad, touch screen, any type of video or digital display, or common electronic ports or connectors, such as serial, parallel, Rj45 (“network”), or USB.
- Lamp , also referred to as “universal waste lamp,” is defined as the bulb or tube portion of an electric lighting device. A lamp is specifically designed to produce radiant energy, most often in the ultraviolet, visible, and infra-red regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Examples of common universal waste electric lamps include, but are not limited to, fluorescent, high intensity discharge, neon, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, and metal halide lamps.
- Large Quantity Handler of Universal Waste means a universal waste handler (as defined in this section) who accumulates 5,000 kilograms or more total of universal waste (batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, or lamps, calculated collectively) at any time. This designation as a large quantity handler of universal waste is retained through the end of the calendar year in which the 5,000-kilogram limit is met or exceeded.
- Mercury-containing equipment means a device or part of a device (including thermostats, but excluding batteries and lamps) that contains elemental mercury integral to its function.
- Pesticide means any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest, or intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.
- Small Quantity Handler of Universal Waste means a universal waste handler (as defined in this section) who does not accumulate 5,000 kilograms or more of universal waste (batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, or lamps, calculated collectively) at any time.
- Solar panel or solar photovoltaic panel means a device consisting of one or more electrically connected photovoltaic cells that are designed to convert solar radiation into electrical energy.
- Thermostat means a temperature control device that contains metallic mercury in an ampule attached to a bimetal sensing element, and mercury-containing ampules that have been removed from these temperature control devices in compliance with the requirements of 40 CFR 273.13(c)(2) or 273.33(c)(2).
- Universal Waste Transporter means a person engaged in the off-site transportation of universal waste by air, rail, highway, or water.
Summary of Requirements
- Examples of common universal waste electronic items include, but are not limited to: computer central processing unit; computer monitor; portable computer (including notebook, laptop, and tablet computer); devices designed for use with computers (also known as computer peripherals) such as keyboard, mouse, desktop printer, scanner, and external storage drive; server; television; digital video disc (DVD) recorder or player; videocassette recorder or player (VCR); eBook reader; digital picture frame; fax machine; video game equipment; cellular telephone; answering machine; digital camera; portable music or video player; wireless paging device; remote control; and smoke detector.
- Each electronic item, or container or pallet containing universal waste electronic items, must be labeled or marked clearly with one of the following phrases: “Universal Waste—electronic item(s)”, or “Waste electronic item(s)”, or “Used electronic item(s)”.
A small quantity handler of universal waste must manage electronic items in a way that prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment, as follows:
(1) Electronic items shall be stored in
- (i) A building, with a permanent roof and floor, that is constructed and maintained to minimize breakage of electronic items and to prevent exposure of the electronic items to precipitation; or
- (ii) A closed and secure container that is constructed and maintained to minimize breakage of electronic items and to prevent exposure of the electronic items to precipitation.
- (2) All universal waste electronic items must be stored in a building or container meeting the requirements of paragraph (1) within 24 hours of being discarded.
- (3) A small quantity handler of universal waste shall immediately clean up and place in a container any universal waste electronic item that shows evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions. The container shall be closed, structurally sound, and compatible with the contents of the electronic item, and shall lack evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions.
- (1) Electronic items shall be stored in
- Each solar panel, container or pallet containing solar panels, or designated universal waste solar panel storage area demarcated by boundaries, must be labeled or marked clearly with one of the following phrases: “Universal Waste—solar panel(s)”, or “Waste solar panel(s)”, or “Used solar panel(s)”
- Store in a manner that prevents breakage and release under reasonably foreseeable conditions. Intact solar panels need not be contained to meet this standard.
Immediately clean up and place in a container any universal waste solar panel that shows evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage that could cause leakage under reasonably foreseeable conditions.
- Closed, structurally sound, compatible with the contents of the solar panel, and lacks evidence of leakage, spillage, or damage.