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pharmecology

California

State Universal Waste Resources

What You Need to Know

In California the California Environmental Protection Agency enforces the hazardous waste regulations, including the universal waste rule. If you have any questions, contact someone at Department of Toxic Substances Control.

California's Universal Waste Rule covers the following wastes: mercury thermostats, batteries (not automotive), lamps, non-empty aerosol cans, mercury switches, mercury thermometers, pressure or vacuum gauges, dilators and weighting tubing, rubber flooring containing mercury, novelties containing mercury, mercury gas flow regulators, counterweights and dampers, dental amalgam, consumer electronic devices (e.g., computers, printers, fax machines), cathode ray tubes, and gauges that contain mercury. Certain other battery types (e.g. alkaline and carbon zinc cells that have been manufactured without mercury) may not be classified as hazardous wastes, and would therefore not fall under the Universal Waste Rule. However, as a matter of responsible practice, such batteries should be collected and sent to recycling facilities, rather than being landfilled.

Read the above regulations, talk to someone at the Department of Toxic Substances Control and use the other resources found below to learn more about these rules. Here’s what to look for and ask about:

  • Do I need to register as a universal waste handler?
  • What waste accumulation and storage requirements apply?
  • Do I need to label universal waste storage containers?
  • Where can I dispose of universal waste?
  • What waste transportation and disposal requirements apply?
  • Are there any employee training requirements?
  • Are there any tracking, reporting and recordkeeping requirements?

Other tools, fact sheets, and resources:

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