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Universal Waste

Universal waste (U-waste) is a type of hazardous waste that is commonly generated by residents, businesses, and the campus community 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. Please DO NOT bring U-waste that is generated off campus (e.g., from home) to CSUSM for disposal.

Examples of Universal Waste

  • Batteries (alkaline, lithium, button/coin cell)
  • Electronics (E-waste), such as computers, TVs, phones, printers
  • Light bulbs and tubes (fluorescent, incandescent, LED, HID)
  • Mercury devices (thermometers, thermostats)
  • Non-empty aerosol cans

Universal Waste Disposal

  • U-waste from home/business

    If you have U-waste at home, there are many electronics recycling and household hazardous waste events. You can check the county's website for participating programs and locations.

  • Electronics (E-waste)

    E-waste is regularly collected by a vendor from Distribution Services (DS). Please deposit E-waste in the designated metal containers during DS business hours.

    • For large items such as printers and microwaves, contact DS at 760-750-4535 to request a pick-up service.
  • Aerosol cans

    Can be recycled as scrap metal if:

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

    Must be managed as hazardous waste if:

    • There are still contents remaining in the can
    • The spray mechanism is broken
    • Submit a Waste Pick-Up Request

Universal Waste Storage

If you have a container designated by SH&S for U-waste accumulation at your workspace, ensure that it is properly labeled. Submit a Waste Pick-Up Request prior to one year from the accumulation start date. SH&S can provide more labels upon request.

How to fill out a Universal Waste Label

universal waste label


Label Description:

List the type of contents (e.g., Lamps, Batteries, Aerosols). Do NOT mix different types together in the same container.




Accumulation Start Date:

Mark the date when U-waste first enters the container. Accumulation time limit is one year. Submit a Waste Pick-Up Request for disposal.

Additional Information