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Household Universal Waste and what to do with it

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Universal Waste is a general descriptive term used to describe wastes that are generated by a large, diverse population. The category of Universal Waste was created in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s hazardous waste regulations to streamline the hazardous waste management standards for certain categories of hazardous waste that are commonly generated by a wide variety of establishments including households. The US EPA finalized the Universal Waste Rule in the May 11, 1995 Federal Register. Many states, including California, have since adopted it. The streamlined regulations are:

  • Promote the collection and recycling of universal waste.
  • Ease the regulatory burden on retail stores and other generators that wish to collect these wastes and transporters of these wastes.
  • Encourage the development of municipal and commercial programs to reduce the quantity of these wastes going to municipal solid waste landfills or combustors.

A benefit of the UWR is that the reduced management requirements have encouraged UW collection programs. These programs include the collection of household waste. The collection of household UW will keep these wastes out of the municipal waste streams.

The following wastes constitute the categories of UW that may be managed under the UWR.

  • Electronic devices: Includes any electronic device that is a hazardous waste (with or without a Cathode Ray Tube), including televisions, computer monitors, cell phones and portable DVD players.
  •  Batteries: Most household-type batteries, including rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, silver button batteries, mercury batteries, alkaline batteries and other batteries that exhibit a characteristic of a hazardous waste.
  • Electric lamps: Fluorescent tubes and bulbs, high intensity discharge lamps, sodium vapor lamps and electric lamps that contain added mercury, as well as any other lamp that exhibits a characteristic of a hazardous waste. (e.g., lead).
  • Mercury-containing equipment: Thermostats, mercury switches, mercury thermometers, pressure or vacuum gauges, dilators and weighted tubing, mercury rubber flooring, mercury gas flow regulators, dental amalgams, counterweights, dampers and mercury added novelties such as jewelry, ornaments and footwear.
  • CRTs: The glass picture tubes removed from devices such as televisions and computer monitors.
  • CRT glass: A cathode ray tube that has been accidently broken or processed for recycling.
  • Non-empty aerosol cans.

Universal Wastes may not be disposed of in the trash. UW is managed at Travis Air Force Base, California by the Travis Hazardous Waste Program. This program manages HW generated by Travis operations.

Household resident should use municipal or county UW collection programs to properly dispose of toxic materials. Households, per regulation, are defined as a single detached residence or a single unit of a multiple residence. For the area surrounding Travis, the following cities provide household HW drop-off locations.

Vacaville and Dixon

Incorporated and Unincorporated Residents

Recology Vacaville Solano Recycling Center

855 1/2 Davis Street, Vacaville, California

Phone: (800) 207-8222

No appointments are required.

Open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

 

Fairfield, Suisun City and Travis AFB

Incorporated Residents and Unincorporated Residents

Solano Garbage Company

2901 Industrial Court, Fairfield, California

Phone: (707) 437-8971

Appointments are required.

Open the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

 

Vallejo

Incorporated and Unincorporated Residents

Vallejo-Napa Household Hazardous Waste Facility

889A Devlin Road, American Canyon, California

Phone: (800) 984-9661

No appointments are required.

Open every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

 

Rio Vista

 

Incorporated and Unincorporated Residents

The City of Rio Vista will hold an annual Household Hazardous Waste event each year.

Call (707) 374-5644 for details.


 

In addition, free electronic waste recycling is provided by:

 

  • Travis County Community Thrift Shop: Donate your working televisions, computer monitors and other e-waste at the Travis Community Thrift Shop, 560 Hickam Avenue, Bldg. 247, Travis AFB, California. Phone: 707 437-2370.
  • Solano Recycles: Recycle televisions, computer monitors and other e-waste at Solano Recycles, 2901 Industrial Court, Fairfield, California. Call 707 437-8900 for more information.
  • Solano County Programs: Participate in local county e-waste events; check the schedule at http://www.co.solano.ca.us/depts/rm/ planning/garbage_and_recycling/.