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State Universal Waste Resources

What You Need to Know

In Maine the Department of Environmental Protection enforces the hazardous waste regulations, including the universal waste rule. If you have any questions, contact someone at Waste Management & Recycling Program.

Maine's Universal Waste Rule covers the following wastes: batteries (e.g., certain lead-acid batteries not recycled under other regulations; dry-cell batteries including 9-volt, D, C, AA, and AAA carbon zinc; button, cylindrical and rectangular mercuric-oxide; button silver-oxide and zinc-air; and 9-volt, C, AA, coin, and button rechargeable lithium); mercury containing devices (e.g., thermostats, switches); electric lamps (e.g., fluorescent, high intensity discharge, sodium vapor, and mercury vapor); cathode ray tubes (CRTs); and intact non-leaking PCB lighting ballasts. 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 Waste Management & Recycling Program 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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