Universal Waste Disposal
For universal waste disposal, Stericycle provides a complete program, from start to finish, for collection, transportation, and disposal or recycling of all categories of universal wastes, including light bulbs, batteries, ballasts, and mercury-containing devices
Streamline Your Universal Waste Disposal With Us
Your universal waste management and other sustainable services can be consolidated with the convenience, time, and cost-savings of just one company: Stericycle.
We offer a nationwide fleet of specialized vehicles along with reliable, comprehensive services that allow us to quickly address your needs.
Rely on Our Universal Waste Expertise With Confidence
You can be confident that Stericycle knows and complies with the legal requirements associated with the removal, disposal, and/or recycling of universal waste. We thoroughly track your universal waste and provide the associated documentation that you need.
Our professional and courteous drivers provide all the supplies necessary to properly manage your universal wastes.
Universal Waste Rules Protect People and Reuse Resources
Universal wastes must be managed in accordance with federal and state rules. When properly managed, universal wastes contain many valuable raw materials, such as metals and plastics. You can prevent these raw materials from going into landfills, and they can be used to manufacture other products.
Universal wastes are produced by nearly every business, healthcare organization, and public facility. This makes it critical to the environment that your universal wastes are managed according to universal waste regulations. Furthermore, exposure to heavy metals found in many universal wastes poses a significant health threat to the general public.
Universal Waste FAQs
- What is meant by the term universal waste?
- What materials are considered universal wastes?
What is meant by the term universal waste?
Universal wastes refer to specific hazardous wastes that were selected by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) because they are generated — in significant volumes by a large number of facilities. These items are generated almost universally across businesses and industries. Therefore, these specially regulated materials are called universal waste but require special waste handling.
The EPA’s universal waste program reduces many of the regulatory burdens that apply to these hazardous wastes to facilitate proper recycling or disposal. The program also eliminates the need for hazardous waste manifests (shipping records) for these select items.
What materials are considered universal waste?
EPA universal wastes include:
Electronic devices (computers and cell phones)
Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) found in televisions and computer monitors
- Alkaline batteries
- Carbon zinc batteries
- Sealed lead-acid batteries
- Mercuric oxide batteries
- Metal hydride batteries
- Nickel-cadmium batteries
- Silver oxide button batteries
- Zinc air batteries
Light bulbs (lamps)
- Fluorescent bulbs and lamps
- High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps
- Sodium-vapor lamps
- Computers containing mercury
- Mercury switches (including switches in cars and other vehicles)
- Glass thermometers
- Aneroid sphygmomanometers
Ballasts containing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
In addition to the federal rules related to universal wastes, some states have ruled that other wastes generated in their states may also be managed as universal waste. Depending on the state, these may include pharmaceutical waste, dental amalgam disposal, and pretreated dental wastewater.