Universal Waste

Used Oil and Aerosol Cans

These are items that could be considered hazardous waste, but the EPA has created a special category for them since they are generated universally by most businesses, factories and colleges.

Items that are considered Universal Waste:

  • Spent Batteries
    • Including lead acid, lithium, nickel-cadmium, nickel chemistry, silver chemistry
  • Used Lamps
    • Including fluorescent, sodium, neon, high intensity discharge, metal halide
  • Mercury switches from thermostats

The requirements for Universal Wastes are similar to hazardous waste rules:

  • UW must be placed in structurally sound and compatible containers
  • UW must be labeled with the words "Universal Waste," a description of the waste, and the date of first collection
    • Examples include: "Universal Waste - Batteries - 6/28/11"
    • Collection period must never exceed one year
  • UW containers must be closed at all times, except when adding waste to the container
  • Submit for disposal (to the CHO) before collection has exceeded one year

Please contact the Chemical Hygiene Officer or Maintenance for containers, labels, UW collection, or if you have a container that is full.

Used Oil - Waste oil is generated in many departments on Campus (in vacuum pumps, cutting devices, engines, etc.). The rules for used oil are very similar to UW.

  • Collect used oil in structurally sound and compatible containers
  • Label, at a minimum, with the words "USED OIL" and the date of generation
  • Submit for recycling (to the CHO) before collection has exceeded one year

Aerosol Cans - While these are not Universal waste, they still need to be managed properly. Please contact Earlham Maintenance if you have an aerosol can for disposal. Earlham maintenance has a puncture device that depressurizes the can and absorbs any release from the can making it non-hazardous for recycling.

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