Universal Waste Ban effective in California
Oakland, CA— On February
9, the Universal Waste Ban took effect statewide, requiring residents
and small businesses to dispose of “universal waste”
such as batteries, old cell phones and fluorescent light tubes
at designated facilities and collection sites. Products like this,
which have low levels of hazardous metals such as lead, mercury,
cadmium and chromium, can potentially contaminate soil and groundwater,
so they cannot be disposed of in the trash and subsequently deposited
The Department of Toxic Substances
Control (DTSC) declared the new rules at the end of January 2006.
Following is a description of
the consumer materials covered by the Universal Waste Ban:
• Common batteries—
AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries
• Fluorescent tubes and
bulbs and other mercury-containing lamps— fluorescent
light tubes and bulbs, high intensity discharge (HID), metal
halide, sodium and neon bulbs.
old-style with the sealed glass “tilt switch,” which
• Electronic devices
— televisions and computer monitors, computers, printers,
VCRs, cell phones, telephones, radios and microwave ovens.
For additional information about
the universal waste ban, visit www.dtsc.ca.gov/HazardousWaste/UniversalWaste/index.cfm.