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Universal Waste

Universal waste (U-waste) is a type of hazardous waste that is commonly generated by residents and businesses, as well the campus when working under normal circumstances.  U-waste is very common and poses a lower risk to people and the environment than other hazardous wastes.  It is regulated under California's "Universal Waste Rule," which requires the recycling* of most types of U-waste.

Find out more information about the annual CSUSM Electronic Waste Recyling Event

Examples of Universal Waste

  • Common Batteries (AA, AAA, C-cells, D-cells and button cell batteries)
  • Electronic Devices such as: Computer and television monitors, wireless phones, computer processing units, printers, VCRs and microwave ovens
  • Fluorescent light tubes and bulbs
  • High intensity discharge lamps
  • Mercury switches
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Mercury thermostats
  • Non-empty aerosol cans
  • Disposing of universal waste at home/business

    If you have a U-waste at home there are many electronic waste and household hazardous waste events that are held by the county, cities and organizations.  While we cannot keep up to date for every event held in the county, below are a few online resources that provide locations for events where you can safely dispose of your U-waste. SH&S hold an annual universal waste recycling event the week of Super Stem Saturday.

  • Disposing of aerosol containers

    Can be recycled in scrap metal containers if:

    • The contents and pressure are completely dispensed and no more product can come out.
    • The spray mechanism is in place and functional.


    Managed as hazardous waste if:

    • Spray mechanism is broke or there is still contents remaining in can.
    • Contact SH&S for disposal locations.
  • Disposing of Large Universal Waste Items

    Microwave, printer, or other large office electronics

    • Electronic waste can not go in the regular trash. The University must manage these items as Universal Waste and sent for recycling. Contact Distribution Services @ 760-750-4535 for a pick up request.

Universal Waste Label Example 

universal waste label
UW Information

For additional information, please call the Safety, Health & Sustainability office at 760-750-4502.