Universal Waste - Mercury Containing Equipment

Printable Label Template



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.

Contact Information 

James Pyrz, 335-4625


  • Containers are selected based on the type and size of equipment and may vary.
  • Small items of mercury containing equipment may be placed in a plastic bag, double bagged, and the bags tied closed.
  • Bags must then be placed into a structurally sound, rigid container such as a cardboard box.
  • Container must be capable of being closed so that no material can fall out.
  • Contact EHS for assistance with selection of containers.

Labeling and Marking

  • Generator of equipment attaches a University of Iowa “Universal Waste-Mercury Containing Equipment” label to the container.
  • Mark on the label the date the first piece of equipment is placed in the container.
  • Mark on the label the name of the building where the equipment container is stored.
  • Contact EHS to obtain labels.


  • Containers must be kept closed at all times, except when adding pieces of equipment to container.
  • When appropriate use secondary containment to prevent spills.


  • Containers of equipment must not be stored for longer than 11 months.
  • Contact Environmental Health & Safety for pickup not more than 11 months after the date the first piece of equipment is placed in the container, whether the container is full or not.
  • Environmental Health & Safety will pick up mercury containing equipment for disposal.

Mercury Spills/Leaking Equipment

  • Clean up mercury spills immediately.
  • Contact Environmental Health & Safety for questions on spill clean up.
  • Place mercury contaminated material into a separate container from non-broken/non-leaking equipment.
  • Spill residues are also hazardous waste.
  • Label containers with hazardous waste labels supplied by Environmental Health & Safety.
  • Contact Environmental Health & Safety for disposal.