The University of Iowa

Universal Waste - Lamps

Printable Label Template

Contact information and areas of expertise can be found on the Contact Us page.


This procedure applies to the disposal of certain hazardous wastes regulated by the U.S. EPA as universal waste. Universal waste may contain mercury, lead, cadmium, nickel and other hazardous materials.

In the State of Iowa, incandescent lamps are not considered hazardous or universal waste, and may be thrown away in the regular trash.


  • Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), Jim Pyrz 335-4625
  • General Stores, Joel Tresslar 384-3906

Universal Waste Lamp Examples

This list is not all inclusive:

  • Compact fluorescent
  • Fluorescent
  • HID
  • High intensity discharge
  • High pressure sodium
  • Mercury vapor
  • Metal halide
  • Neon


  • Call General Stores to obtain containers
  • General Stores delivers containers.
  • Other containers may be used as long as they are structurally sound and rigid and can be properly closed so that no lamps can fall out.

Labeling and Marking

  • Generator of lamps removes or otherwise defaces all existing container labels attached to empty container.
  • Generator of lamps attaches a new University of Iowa “Universal Waste-Lamps” label to the container.
  • Mark on the label the date the first lamp is placed in the container.
  • Mark on the label the name of the building where the lamps container is stored.
  • Prior to disposal mark the label with the final lamp count.
  • Request labels using the EHS online Waste Label Request form.


  • Lamps must be placed inside containers.
  • All containers must be kept closed at all times, except when adding lamps. Use tape to hold box flaps shut to prevent breakage. New lamp boxes should also be taped shut.
  • A tally sheet is used to account for the number of lamps in the container.


  • Containers of lamps must not be stored for longer than 11 months.
  • Contact General Stores for pickup not more than 11 months after the date the first lamp is placed in the container, whether the container is full or not.
  • General Stores will pick up containers of lamps for disposal.

Broken Lamps

  • Clean up broken lamps immediately.
  • Place broken lamp, and broken lamp parts into a lamp container.


  • A contractor maintaining a piece of equipment that uses a universal waste lamp may take the lamp with them for recycling. The University department contracting the work must ensure that the lamp is properly managed by the contractor.
  • Contractors performing demolition and construction work are required to follow University of Iowa procedures for containers, labeling, storage and disposal.