Universal waste (UW) guidelines give facilities flexibility on how they handle listed wastes. But UW is still hazardous – it can’t be dumped in landfills or burned in incinerators like it’s garbage.

Case in point: A California recycler that mixed in spent batteries with curbside recycled glass is paying the state $1.2 million in fines.

Dragnet caught them in the act

The Department of Toxic Substances Control documented workers for Strategic Materials in Sacramento failing to separate batteries left in the trash. For five years, the company disposed of a half-million pounds of batteries with glass bottles and shards. As part of its settlement, the recycler has to launch hazwaste training programs for staff and spend $253K on protective measures to keep hazwaste separate from garbage and “safe” recyclables.

Want to keep up with hazardous (and universal) waste Best Practices? Click here to take our Hazardous Waste Management Specialist Course and receive 25% off. This course also meets your annual RCRA requirements for Large Quantity Generators of hazardous waste.

Purchase Our Hazardous Waste Management Specialist Course

About the Author

Jon Knight

Jon Knight leads the NASP Team’s media creation department. He has been involved with workplace safety training since 2017 with a focus on course creation. He also provides video production and voiceovers for NASP content.