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Universal, Electronic, and Cathode Ray Tube Waste Requirements

UNIVERSAL WASTES (UW) are specific hazardous wastes which are destined for recycling.  They include:

  1. spent batteries other than lead-acid batteries;
  2. suspended or cancelled pesticides which are subject to a recall, or pesticides which are collected or managed as part of a waste pesticide collection program;
  3. mercury containing equipment; and
  4. spent fluorescent, tubes, or incandescent bulbs which are hazardous due to heavy metals.

Specific regulations cover the activities of the following entities which might manage Universal Waste:

  • UW Generator:  is any person, by site, whose actions first produce a UW;
  • Small Quantity Handler of UW:  receives UW from other handlers and sends it to other UW facilities, and never accumulates more than 5,000 kilograms of UW at any time;
  • Large Quantity Handler of UW:  receives UW from other handlers and sends it to other UW facilities, and accumulates more than 5,000 kilograms of UW at any time;
  • UW Transporter:  transports UW by air, rail, highway or water;
  • UW Transfer Facility:  is a transportation related site, where UW may be held, during transportation, for not more than 10 days;
  • UW Destination Facility:  treats, recycles or disposes of the UW.

** Note:  Household waste is not regulated as either a hazardous or a universal waste.

In 1995, the U.S. EPA promulgated regulations for a subset of hazardous waste. Those rules were set forth in Part 273 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). That subset was referred to as Universal Waste (UW). In order to be subject to the Universal Waste regulations, rather than the stricter hazardous waste regulations, the wastes must be destined for recycling. Although the U.S EPA has recognized four Universal Wastes, it allows states to determine if other wastes are regulated as Universal Waste in their states. Montana has adopted 40 CFR 273 and does not recognize any Universal Wastes other than those set forth by the U.S EPA. The following information provides an overview of the regulations and may help you determine your regulatory status and requirements.

Please review the Overview tab below for a brief synopsis of these requirements.

Overview of Universal Waste Regulation

(§ are 40 CFR unless otherwise noted, for regulation specifics go to Electronic Code of Federal Regulations)




Universal Waste Requirements
Generators and Small Quantity Handlers of Universal Waste
Large Quantity Handlers of Universal Waste


Universal Waste Transporters and Transfer Facilities




Destination Facilities
Prohibitions May not dispose, treat or dilute waste
§273.11
May not dispose, treat or dilute waste
§273.31
May not dispose, treat or dilute waste
§273.51
Comply with RCRA TSDF Requirements
§273.60(a)
Notifications No Requirements
§273.12
Must notify MT DEQ of activities
§273.32
Comply with DOT Requirements
49 CFR 171 - 180
Comply with RCRA TSDF Requirements
§§273.60(a) - (b)
Waste
Management 
Requirements
Prevent Releases
§§273.13(a) - (d)
Prevent Releases
§§273.33(a) - (d)
Comply with DOT Requirements
§273.52
Comply with RCRA TSDF Requirements
§§273.60(a) - (b)
Labeling and Marketing Identify specific type of UW
§273.14
Identify specific type of UW
§273.34
Comply with DOT Requirements
§273.52
Comply with RCRA TSDF Requirements
§§273.60(a) - (b)
Storage Time Limits One Year Limit
§273.15
One Year Limit
§273.35
TEN DAY LIMIT
§273.53

Comply with RCRA TSDF Requirements
§§273.60(a) - (b)

Employee Training Inform employees of proper handling and emergency responses
§273.16
Ensure employee familiarity with proper handling and emergency
§273.36
Comply with DOT Requirements
49 CFR 171 - 180
Comply with RCRA TSDF Requirements
§§273.60(a) - (b)
Response to Releases Immediately contain releases and properly manage released waste
§273.17
Immediately contain releases and properly manage released waste
§273.37
Immediately contain releases and properly manage released waste
§273.54
Comply with RCRA TSDF Requirements
§§273.60(a) - (b)
Off-site Shipments Only to other UW Handler, Destination Facility or foreign destination
§§273.18 and 273.20
Only to other UW Handler, Destination Facility or foreign destination
§§273.38 and 273.40
Only to UW Handler, Destination Facility or foreign destination.  Comply with DOT Requirements
§§273.55 - 273.56
Only to UW Handler, Destination Facility or foreign destination
§273.61
Tracking No Requirements
§273.19
Maintain receiving and shipping records for three years
§273.39
Comply with DOT Requirements
§§262 and
49 CFR 173.2
Maintain receiving records for three years
§273.62 (b)
  • Never accumulates more than 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) of UW.
  • May not dispose of UW.
  • May not intentionally dilute or treat UW.
  • Must manage UW so as to prevent releases.
  • Must immediately contain any releases of UW.  If releases are hazardous waste, must manage as hazardous waste.
  • May, within strict limits, crush spent lamps.
  • Must mark containers to identify specific type of UW.
  • May not hold UW for longer than one year unless necessary to facilitate proper recovery.
  • Must demonstrate length of time any UW is in accumulation.
  • Must inform employees regarding proper handling of UW and emergency procedures.
  • May ship only to other UW Handlers, UW Destination Facilities, or foreign destination.
  • Must comply with U.S. DOT shipping requirements.
  • Exceeds 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) of UW in accumulation.
  • May not dispose of UW.
  • May not intentionally dilute or treat UW.
  • May, within strict limits, crush spent lamps.
  • Must notify MT DEQ of activities.
  • Must manage UW so as to prevent releases.
  • Must immediately contain any releases of UW.  If releases are hazardous waste, must manage as hazardous waste.
  • Must mark containers to identify specific type of UW.
  • May not hold UW for longer than one year unless necessary to facilitate proper recovery.
  • Must demonstrate length of time any UW is in accumulation.
  • Must ensure employees are thoroughly familiar with proper UW handling and emergency procedures.
  • May ship UW only to other UW Handlers, UW Destination Facility, or foreign destination.
  • Must comply with U.S. DOT shipping requirements.
  • Must maintain, for at least three years, records of each shipment of UW received at or shipped from facility.
  • May not dispose of UW.
  • May not intentionally dilute or treat UW.
  • Must comply with U.S. DOT shipping requirements.
  • May not hold shipment at any single transfer site for more than ten days.
  • Must immediately contain any releases.  If releases are hazardous waste, must manage as hazardous waste.
  • May transport UW only to UW Handler, UW Destination Facility, or foreign destination.
  • If UW is held more than ten days, then must comply with appropriate Small Quantity Handler or Large Quantity Handler requirements.
  • Must comply with requirements for Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage or Disposal Facilities.
  • May ship UW only to other UW Handlers, UW Destination Facilities, or foreign facilities.
  • Must maintain, for at least three years, records for each shipment of UW received.
E-waste includes a wide variety of items such as:  cell phones, computers, keyboards, and printers.  Many of these items include small bits and pieces of heavy metals.  Those metals may cause the e-waste to be regulated as hazardous waste if the items are disposed.  However, scrap metal which is recycled, is not considered to be a solid waste, and, is not regulated as a hazardous waste.
Cathode ray tubes (CRT’s) are typically recognized as being the picture tubes in older model televisions.  CRT’s also are used in a variety of diagnostic devices.  In many cases, the CRT glass contains enough lead to cause the CRT to be regulated as a hazardous waste if it is disposed.  Since the lead is not in the form of “bits and pieces” of metal, the CRTs are not eligible for the exclusion of scrap metal that is recycled.  Therefore, a unique regulatory exclusion was created for CRTs that are recycled.

You may view and/or print the following lists of available service providers:

Please contact your Regional Regulatory Personnel for more information.

Hazardous Waste (HW) Program

DEQ Staff Directory
DEQ Business Processes
Report a HW Complaint or Spill
Household HW & E-Waste Collection Events

Waste and Underground Tank Management Bureau

Permitting & Compliance Division

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