Universal Wastes

In February 2006, new laws went into effect that prohibit disposal of universal wastes. Universal wastes are hazardous wastes that contain harmful chemicals, which, if put into trash cans, may harm people or the environment. These include:
  • Common batteries- AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries (e.g. hearing aid batteries). These may contain a corrosive chemical that may cause burns.
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs and other mercury-containing lamps - fluorescent light tubes and bulbs, high intensity discharge (HID), metal halide, sodium, and neon bulbs.
  • Electronic devices - Televisions and computer monitors, computers, printers, VCRs, cell phones, telephones, radios, and microwave ovens
  • Mercury containing devices such as:
    • Older and non-electronic thermostats
    • Switches and relays found in some chest freezers, pre-1972 washing machines, sump pumps, electric space heaters, clothes irons, light switches and relays, automobile lights, and ABS brakes, stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces and space heaters.
    • Gauges such as barometers, manometers, blood pressure, and vacuum gauges
    • Mercury Added Novelties including greeting cards that play music when opened; athletic shoes (made before 1997) with flashing lights in soles; and mercury maze games.
    • Mercury thermometers
Universal Wastes may be taken to the County’s HHW/E-waste weekly collection events or permanent collection facilities FREE of charge and open to all L.A. County residents. For more information on upcoming events, please visit www.888CleanLA.com or call 1-888-253-2652.

Additional Information

To learn more about Universal Wastes, visit http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/HomeHazWaste/Uwaste/