State regulators won’t hesitate to fine smaller facilities that ignore universal waste rules.
One common mistake businesses make is assuming products like compact fluorescent bulbs are “green” and therefore don’t require special handling, according to New England law firm Murtha Cullina.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) recently fined a tanning salon, research laboratories, medical offices and property management firms because they:
• didn’t ship universal wastes (UWs) to hazardous waste recyclers, and
• threw UW out with common trash.
The kicker: Most of DEEP’s enforcement actions were spurred by anonymous tips.
All the inspectors had to do was check trash bags for evidence of mercury-containing lamps and then write up tickets!
‘Universal’ doesn’t mean ‘exempt’
Several states list additional UWs beyond the four federally listed wastes. (A fifth waste, aerosol cans, is on track to be become a UW by spring 2019.)
Check here to see what’s a UW in your state.