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Universal Waste

The universal waste rules are intended to promote recycling as well as proper disposal by easing certain regulatory requirements such as waste evaluation and manifesting. When managing these wastes under the universal waste rules, a generator does not need to evaluate them, and they are not counted when determining the quantity of hazardous waste generated for the purposes of determining generator status. Furthermore, the nationally recognized universal wastes do not need to be transported on a hazardous waste manifest.

Universal wastes are specific hazardous waste streams that a generator can choose to manage in an alternative manner in place of the more complex hazardous waste requirements. These wastes are typically generated by numerous businesses, ordinarily in small quantities, and they present low hazards. Currently, Ohio has five categories of universal wastes recognized nationwide, and two additional types that are Ohio-specific universal wastes that may be managed under these reduced requirements. Lamps, suspended or Recalled Pesticides, mercury-containing devices, batteries, and aerosol cans are recognized nationwide. Antifreeze and paint and paint-related wastes are the Ohio-specific universal wastes. The Ohio-specific universal wastes also do not require the use of a hazardous waste manifest while in Ohio. If these wastes leave the state of Ohio, the generator would need to comply with the manifesting requirements for all states these wastes would travel within.


Related Webpages

On March 25, 2021, U.S. EPA published three new webpages on end-of-life management of lithium-ion and other batteries. The webpages cover household batteries of all types and a lithium-ion battery specific page, as well as frequent questions on lithium-ion batteries. These webpages contain information on the safe disposal and recycling of lithium-ion batteries for consumers, businesses, workers, and transporters, and management recommendations for single use, rechargeable, and automotive batteries that may be found in the home.

The battery webpages were created in response to the growing number of fires reported in the waste management process. One reason why fires start in garbage trucks and recycling facilities is because consumers mistakenly place their batteries in their home recycling bins and trash cans for disposal. The webpages emphasize that lithium-ion and most other household batteries do not belong in curbside trash or recycling, and instead should be sent to specialty recyclers or household hazardous waste facilities.


Rules and Laws


Guidance Documents, Fact Sheets, and Reports

Ohio Specific Universal Waste - NEW
Questions & Answers Ohio-Specific Universal Wastes - NEW
Universal Waste Guidance Document
Questions & Answers - Universal Waste Aerosol Cans
Lead-Acid Batteries Must be Recycled
Recycling of Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs)
Management of Electronic Waste from Businesses
Managing Fluorescent Lamps
Mercury Containing Equipment is Universal Waste
Hazardous Ink Wastes


Universal Waste Inspection Checklist:


Phone: (614) 644-2924

Fax: (614) 644-3146

Email Webmaster

Physical address:
Lazarus Government Center
50 W. Town St., Suite 700
Columbus, OH 43215

Mailing address:
Lazarus Government Center
P.O. Box 1049
Columbus, OH 43216-1049 

Mathews, Mitchell Manager 614-644-2953
Heffelfinger, Tammy Supervisor 614-644-2954
Kabelen, Zak Environmental Specialist 2 614-441-0262
Narotski, Bill Environmental Specialist 2 614-728-1264
Shipley, Kristie Environmental Specialist 2 614-728-5363
Weiler, Stephen Environmental Specialist 2 614-728-5367