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Tip of the Month
Universal Waste: What is it and how must it be handled?
- What is it?
- Universal Waste is a category of less regulated wastes that still pose a threat to the environment. They must be collected and disposed of separately from other wastes.
- Lead/acid, nickel/cadmium, lithium and mercury batteries (typically rechargeable batteries found in cameras, laptops, etc., but not alkaline.)
- Fluorescent and high intensity discharge (HID) lamps with mercury.
- Mercury thermostats.
- Some pesticides.
- How must they be handled?
- Used batteries including: lead/acid, nickel/cadmium, lithium and mercury batteries
- Caps must be tightly placed on all batteries.
- If the battery is charged, the terminals must be covered with duct tape.
- All boxes with used batteries must have a universal waste label with date. Labels may be obtained by contacting EH&S at (631) 632-6410.
- Large batteries may be picked up or dropped of at a designated campus location. Please contact EH&s for assistance.
- At the University Hospital, return batteries to Biomedical Engineering in room 141 on level 1.
- Fluorescent lamps
- Collect used lamps in original containers, fiber drums or any suitable cardboard container.
- All boxes with used lamps must be closed and have a Universal Waste Label with the date. Labels may be obtained by contacting EH&S at (631) 632-6410.
- Central Stores will regularly pick up full boxes from lamp storage locations.
- Broken fluorescent lamps must be handled as hazardous waste.
- Broken lamps and debris will be collected in a closed bag and placed in a metal can or drum and given to EH&S. Contact EH&S for assistance.
- Do not put broken bulbs in Universal Waste Collection boxes.
- Do not throw broken bulbs into the trash. Remove any lamps you see in trash containers and dispose of as noted above.
- Mercury containing devices
- Please contact EH&S at (631) 632-6410 if you have any mercury containing devices to report.
- Please contact EH&S at (631) 632-6410 with questions on disposal.
The EH&S Tip of the Month is a publication of the EH&S Communications Team: Annette Falcetta, Bob Holthausen, Cliff Knee, Joe Daley, Kim Auletta, Lisa Buchter, Lou Mancusco, Mike Seymour, Sean Harling, & Terry Hulse.