EPA's universal waste regulations streamline hazardous waste management standards for federally designated "universal wastes." In Idaho, these wastes include only:
- Batteries, such as rechargeable cells,
- Lamps, such as fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lights and others,
- Mercury-Containing Equipment (MCE), such as thermometers and thermostats,
- Pesticides (stock, unused product).
The regulations govern the collection and management of these widely generated wastes, thus facilitating environmentally sound collection and proper recycling or treatment.
These regulations also ease the regulatory burden on retail stores and others that wish to collect these wastes and encourage the development of municipal and commercial programs to reduce the quantity of these wastes going to municipal solid waste landfills or combustors. In addition, the regulations also ensure that the wastes subject to this system will go to appropriate treatment or recycling facilities pursuant to the full hazardous waste regulatory controls.
The federal universal waste regulations are set forth in 40 CFR part 273. States can modify the universal waste rule and add additional universal waste(s) in individual state regulations, but the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has adopted only the federal regulations.
All universal wastes must be managed in a way that prevents releases of any universal waste or component of a universal waste to the environment,
A universal waste cannot be stored on University property for longer than one year from the date it is declared a waste.