What is Universal Waste?

Universal Waste is a group of solide wastes that are regulated by State law due to their toxicity. Universal Waste has high levels of mercury, lead, and other substances that can be hazardous, especially to women of childbearing age and children. Typical Universal Wastes Include:

  • Computer Monitors
  • Televisions
  • Fluorescent Bulbs
  • Thermostats
  • Thermometers
  • PCB Lighting Ballasts
  • Certain batteries
  • HID Bulbs

Who Must Recycle Universal Waste?

Effective January 1, 2005, Maine law requires that everyone shall recycle all Universal Waste, with the exception that households are not required to recycle computer monitors and televisions. Laws that take effect in 2006 will require all Maine citizens to recycle all Universal Waste including computer monitors and televisions.

Did You Know?

  • A Cathode-ray tube in many computer monitors contains about 8 pounds of lead
  • Mercury levels in Maine fish, loons, and eagles are among the highest in North America
  • Mercury is a neuro-toxin. Eating fish with high mercury levels can lead to neurological proglems, especially for unborn and young children
  • Mercury has been used extensively in thermostats and other switches, thermometers, fluorescent light bulbs, dental fillings and as a preservative
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury Study Report, mercury emissions are the result of:
    • coal-fired utility boilers - 33%
    • municipal waste combustion - 19%
    • industrial boilers - 18%
    • medical waste incinerators - 10%
    • manufacturing sources - 10%

For more information or questions on Universal Waste contacts us at:

Gil's Sanitation, Inc.
47 Wasburn Road
PO Box 1057
Presque Isle, Maine 04769