The Universal Waste Rule in Missouri

Waste Management Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Ed Galbraith

What is the Universal Waste Rule?

The Universal Waste Rule (UWR) is a set of federal environmental regulations adopted with modifications by Missouri. The effective date of the rule in Missouri was Jan. 31, 1999. The rule can be found in the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Regulations located in Title 10, Division 25, Chapter 16 of the Code of State Regulations (CSR), which references portions of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 40 Part 273. The UWR identifies all universal wastes in Missouri and states how they can be handled in a lawful manner. The rule was designed to give generators of certain types of hazardous wastes an option to manage those wastes under less stringent UWR requirements rather than by the more stringent existing hazardous waste regulations. This alternative is offered to help reduce the regulatory burden on businesses and others that generate certain common hazardous wastes and to encourage collection, recycling and proper disposal of these wastes. To completely understand the rule, read both state and federal regulations. The wastes covered under this rule are described in the “What are the different types of universal wastes” section below.

What are the basic requirements for managing universal wastes?

Anyone who wants to manage one or more of the universal wastes noted below under the UWR must determine his or her handler status. Large quantity handlers accumulate 5000 kilograms (approximately 11,000 pounds) or more of universal waste calculated collectively, at any time. Small quantity handlers accumulate less than 5,000 kg (approx. 11,000 lbs.). The handler counts only those wastes that will be managed as universal wastes. All other hazardous wastes are calculated separately and determine the “hazardous waste generator status” of the business.

The designation as a large quantity handler remains through the end of the calendar year in which the 5000 kg is accumulated.

It is important to note, disposal of hazardous wastes in Missouri sanitary landfills (except for very small amounts) has been illegal since Jan. 1, 1994 (Section 260.432 Revised Statutes of Missouri [RSMo]).

Large and small quantity handlers


Destination Facilities

Who is affected by this rule?

Universal wastes are generated by small and large businesses, municipalities, churches and schools. The UWR offers another option that eases the regulatory burden on businesses generating these wastes by streamlining the administrative requirements. For example, certain small businesses that generate only universal wastes and manage them under this rule do not need to notify the state of their activities or pay hazardous waste fees and taxes on that waste. Further, the rule extends the amount of time that businesses can accumulate universal wastes on site to a year or more, as noted above. It also allows companies to transport the wastes with a common carrier (universal waste transporter), instead of a hazardous waste transporter, and it no longer requires companies to prepare a hazardous waste manifest (the transporter prepares a shipping paper).

Households are not subject to hazardous waste management standards and are allowed to dispose of wastes covered under the universal waste rule with their trash. “Household waste” is defined in 40 CFR Part 261.4(b)(1). Residents are encouraged to take their universal wastes to local collection centers or events when these are available for recycling or disposal.However, household hazardous wastes, which are of the same type as universal wastes and which are segregated from the solid waste stream, must either be managed in compliance with this rule or 10 CSR 25-4.261(2)(A)10.

Local communities can work with businesses and residents to encourage proper recycling or disposal of universal wastes. By easing the regulatory burden on businesses, more collection centers may become available. Communities can establish collection programs or help local businesses set up collection programs in their area based on the guidance in the rule.

What are the different types of universal wastes?

Universal wastes in Missouri’s rule include the following items:

While EPA has finalized regulations including aerosol cans as a universal waste, Missouri is still evaluating this set of regulations and has not incorporated them by reference. Until that time aerosol cans will need to continue to be managed as “regular” hazardous waste.

Additional Information
Standard Operating Procedure for Universal Waste Pesticide Collection Programs in Missouri
Code of Federal Regulations
Missouri Code of State Regulations for Department of Natural Resources
Missouri Revised Statutes