The University of Iowa

Universal Waste (Aerosol Cans, Batteries, Lamps and Mercury Containing Instruments)

Universal wastes are EPA regulated materials that are both hazardous to the environment and commonly found in industry as well as households. Because the materials are common, they are known as Universal Waste. Items identified as Universal Waste include:

  • Aerosol cans that are pressurized containers holding a propellant used to expel material.
  • Batteries containing hazardous materials, such as NiCad, lithium and lead-acid batteries.
  • Fluorescent or other lamps that contain mercury vapor.
  • Mercury containing instruments such as thermometers, barometers, and thermostats.

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



  • Universal Waste Management - W500HZ
    • Training on proper handling of universal waste is required initially.
    • Audience: All employees who handle or have responsibility for managing universal waste batteries, lamps or mercury containing equipment must complete this course.

For further training and registration information, go to EHS Safety Training.