Universal waste is generated in numerous places around the OSU campus and is handled by university employees. Universal waste is a subcategory of hazardous waste that poses low risk to human health when handled and transported safely. It consists of batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and lamps (light bulbs). The University recognizes that there are potential hazards associated with the use and disposal of universal waste materials. The goal of the universal waste management requirements is to reduce the amount of hazardous waste that ends up in solid waste landfills and that may eventually pollute waterways.

In Oregon there are currently four types of waste considered to be universal wastes: batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and mercury-containing lamps (fluorescent light tubes and high-intensity discharge or HID lamps).



Mercury Containing Equipment



Universal Waste Management Plan

Universal Wastes are managed through the Office of Environmental Health and Safety’s (EHS) Hazardous Waste Program. Generators of such waste can make a request to EHS to pick up these materials, as well as to provide containers for their storage to facilitate transport. Following a formal pickup request, EHS Hazardous Waste staff pickup and transport the Universal Waste to a central collection point on campus for processing and consolidation. The University has a contract with a company that picks up the hazardous waste on a routine basis and transports the materials to their recycling facilities where they are further processed and the valuable components are recycled and placed back into commerce. The University’s Universal Waste Program is one that demonstrates a commitment for being resourceful, sustainable and a good steward of the environment.

Requirements for managing universal waste, though relaxed, are similar to your requirements for other hazardous waste.

Training Requirements

A large quantity waste handler must ensure that all employees who handle or are responsible for managing universal waste are informed on the proper handling and emergency procedures appropriate to the specific universal waste(s) they handle.

Universal Waste required training for OSU community is located on our training page. It should be assigned by supervisors to staff who handle/manage universal waste on campus.

Regulatory Information

This policy is based on the federal regulation and state regulation. It regulates the handling and disposal of universal waste. For the complete universal waste rules, see the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 273 and Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 340, Division 113.