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Small Quantity Handlers of Universal Waste

A small quantity universal waste handler stores less than 5,000 kg of total Universal Waste (UW) and does not dispose, dilute or treat the universal waste. The following is a summary of the requirements. Please see the universal waste regulations, 6 NYCRR Subpart 374-3 (link leaves DEC's website) for more detail.

  1. Can store the universal waste for any period less than one year. The handler must be able to demonstrate compliance with this time limit by any one of the following:
    1. labeling the container with the earliest date of UW placement, or
    2. marking/labeling each item with the date discarded, or using an inventory system to accomplish the same goal, or
    3. identifying the earliest date any UW is placed in a particular area, or
    4. any other method that clearly demonstrates that the storage time limit is being complied with.
  2. Intact UW lamps (broken lamps are not eligible for placement in Universal Waste) and pesticides must be stored in suitable containers. Containers are not required for mercury-containing equipment (MCE) or batteries.
  3. UW and/or UW containers must be labeled with
    1. For batteries: "Universal Waste - Battery(ies)", or "Waste Battery(ies)", or "Used Battery(ies)".
    2. For pesticides: the label that was on or accompanied the product, or equivalent information as described in subpart 374-3.2(e)(3), plus the words "Universal Waste - Pesticide(s)" or "Waste - Pesticide(s)".
    3. For mercury-containing equipment: "Universal Waste - Mercury Containing Equipment", or "Waste Mercury-Containing Equipment", or "Used Mercury-Containing Equipment". An alternative (for thermostats only) is to label them as: "Universal Waste - Mercury Thermostat(s)", or "Waste Mercury Thermostat(s)", or "Used Mercury Thermostat(s)".
    4. For lamps: "Universal Waste - Lamp(s)", or "Waste Lamp(s)", or "Used Lamp(s)".
  4. Leaking, spilled, or broken UW must be cleaned up and placed in a suitable container. A hazardous waste determination must be performed and the cleanup material must be managed as a solid or hazardous waste, based on the determination. Only intact batteries, lamps, mercury-containing equipment, or pesticides in intact containers can be placed in Universal Waste.
    Note: if a lamp or other UW item breaks or leaks after being placed inside an appropriate, sealed Universal Waste container, it may still be managed as Universal Waste as long as the container remains closed.
  5. All employees who handle or manage UW must be informed of proper handling and emergency procedures.
  6. The handler is prohibited from sending or taking the UW to a place other than another UW handler, a destination facility, or a foreign destination.
  7. Keeping records of shipments is recommended but not required.

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    Bureau of Hazardous Waste and Radiation Management
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    Albany, NY 12233-7256
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