EPA’s universal waste regulations streamline the hazardous waste management standards for certain categories of hazardous waste that are commonly generated by a wide variety of establishments. The streamlined regulations:
The federal regulations identify five specific categories of materials that can be managed as universal wastes: batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, lamps and aerosol cans. The part 273 regulations define the type of materials that fall under the universal waste categories and specify in what situations that material can be considered a universal waste.
The universal waste regulations can vary from state to state in the United States. The majority of states have adopted the full federal universal waste program, however, others have only adopted some of the federal universal wastes. A state does not have to include all of the federal universal wastes when they adopt the universal waste regulations. If a state doesn’t adopt a certain universal waste and the waste meets the definition of a hazardous waste, then it must be managed under the applicable hazardous waste regulations in that state.
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