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Universal Waste Disposal & Recycling
Some generators that commonly use or manage hazardous wastes that are affected by universal waste regulations include:
  • Commercial and industrial businesses and other entities such as hospitals,
  • schools and universities,
  • state and local governments, as well as
  • other generators of hazardous wastes considered to be universal waste.
Households that generate universal wastes are exempt from the hazardous waste standards under the household hazardous waste exclusion and therefore, are not affected by the universal waste regulations. Facilities with conditionally exempt small quantity generator status are also not affected by the universal waste regulations. However, EPA encourages management of these materials as universal wastes even for these types of generators, when possible.

Regulatory requirements differ for small and large quantity handlers of universal waste, but in both cases, handlers of universal waste follow streamlined requirements for
  • notifying EPA about their waste activities,
  • labeling containers,
  • storing materials on site,
  • training personnel and
  • tracking and transporting waste.
No permit is needed and no special tracking or reporting is required when businesses send universal waste to recyclers that do not store the waste before recycling; these facilities comply with Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) section 261.6(c)(2). Otherwise, the universal waste must be sent to a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)-permitted facility.
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