Universal Waste is a hazardous waste that is managed under streamlined requirements to encourage collection, recycling and disposal of these wastes. The following waste streams are considered Universal Wastes and have specific handling and labeling requirements.  

More detailed information can be found in the Hazardous Waste Minimization and Disposal Policy (.DOC).

Fluorescent Light Tubes

The term 'Fluorescent Light Tube' includes all mercury-containing light tubes including: High Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps, Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), Mercury Vapor Lamps, High Pressure Sodium Tubes and Neon Tubes. It is important to collect and dispose used tubes through Environmental Health and Safety due to the mercury and lead contents. Information on disposal and collection requirements are provided in the Used Fluorescent Light Tubes Quick Tip (.DOC).

Containers used to store Used Fluorescent Light Tubes must be kept closed and must be labeled in accordance with the EPA regulations. The label must read "Universal Waste - Used Fluorescent Light Tubes" (PDF) and must be dated as soon as the first used bulb is placed inside. Click here to view and print Labels (DOC). Containers are supplied by Environmental Health and Safety.

Batteries

Batteries are used for multiple purposes and can have many hazardous components. Batteries can contain heavy metals such as lithium, nickel, cadmium, lead, and mercury and therefore must not be disposed of in the trash. For disposal requirements and a list of common batteries and their hazardous components, please go to the Used Batteries Quick Tip (DOC).  

Batteries should be separated based on content (e.g., alkaline, lead, acid, NiCad, etc.). Containers used to store used batteries must be kept closed and must be labeled in accordance with the EPA regulations. The label must read "Universal Waste - Used Batteries" and must be dated as soon as the first used bulb is placed inside. Click here to view and print Labels (DOC).

Thermostats

Old thermostats can contain mercury switches. It is possible that in some older buildings, mercury-containing thermostats are still in use. Whenever these thermostats are being removed (such as in a renovation project), they need to be collected, labeled and disposed of as Universal Waste through Environmental Health and Safety. Follow the link below to view and print "Universal Waste - Used Thermostats" Labels (DOC).