Universal Waste

Universal waste is hazardous waste generated by a variety of industries. It must be sent to a facility equipped and permitted to handle and recycle it.


Mercury, lead, cadmium, and sulfuric acid can leak from batteries and pose risks to the environment or cause a fire. Store them off the ground in a labeled container and recycle within 12 months at the Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station.

Electronic Waste

Electronic wastes contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, and cadmium. These materials should not go to a landfill, but rather a recycling center to be reclaimed.

Find a local recycling center.

Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent lights contain recyclable materials including glass, metal, and mercury. Fluorescents should be stored in a structurally sound container, labeled as "Universal Waste Lamp" with the date you start adding fluorescents to the container. They must be recycled within 12 months. 

Find a local recycling location for fluorescent lights.

Cleaning up broken fluorescentsBroken fluorescent bulb

Fluorescent bulbs contain a very small amount of mercury that is released if the bulb breaks.

If cleaned up properly, broken bulbs should not pose a serious health risk. If a bulb breaks:

1. Ventilate the room by closing interior doors and vents and opening exterior doors and windows. Leave the room for at least 15 minutes.

2. Remove all materials you can and DO NOT VACUUM.

  • Wear disposable gloves.
  • Carefully clean up glass fragments and residue with stiff paper or cardboard.
  • Pick up any remaining small pieces using tweezers and sticky tape.
  • Wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel, cloth, or disposable wet wipe.

3. Place all cleanup materials in a sturdy glass container with a tight-fitting metal lid. Store the container in a safe area until you are able to dispose of it at a hazardous waste location.

4. Wash hands thoroughly.

5. Leave windows in the affected room open as long as practical.