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Contact information
For information about managing hazardous waste, contact:
Mike Ellenbecker
Hazardous waste program coordinator
262-884-2342

Management of universal waste in Wisconsin

To encourage and facilitate recycling, Wisconsin's universal waste regulations reduce the hazardous waste management standards for Wisconsin's designated universal wastes. The universal waste regulations govern the collection and management of these widely generated wastes and provide an alternative set of requirements that reduces the regulatory burden by allowing longer storage of these wastes and reduced recordkeeping.

Materials classified as universal waste

The list of materials classified as universal waste in Wisconsin includes:

  • hazardous waste batteries, such as lithium, nickel-cadmium, silver oxide and lead-acid;
  • hazardous waste pesticides that are either recalled or collected in waste pesticide collection programs;
  • thermometers and mercury-containing equipment;
  • hazardous waste lamps, such as fluorescent bulbs; and
  • antifreeze, which is a Wisconsin-specific universal waste if it is recycled.

Wisconsin's universal waste rules affect businesses and institutions that generate or store universal wastes, transporters and destination facilities (recycling facilities or hazardous waste management facilities).

More details on specific waste types can be found here:

Make sure you collect and store universal waste properly

The handouts and video below outline best management practices for collection sites that accept universal waste, or businesses and institutions that collect their own universal waste on-site.

Last revised: Wednesday May 10 2017