universal waste (U-Waste)

All “universal waste” materials are banned from the trash. If not disposed of properly, these items will release toxic substances that find their way into our air, water and eventually into the food we eat.

what is universal waste

Universal waste (“u-waste”) are common items that are banned from the trash. These hazardous wastes include:

  • All alkaline & rechargeable batteries; lead-acid batteries (car)

  • Items containing mercury: thermostats, thermometers, switches (e.g. pilot light sensors, clothes irons, blood pressure gauge, novelties such as maze games & talking greeting cards)

  • Fluorescent lamps & tubes, metal halide lamps, sodium vapor lamps

  • Video display devices: TVs, monitors, laptops

  • Electronic devices (with a digital component): computers, printers, PDA's, cell phones, telephones, radios, stereos, microwave ovens

why is universal waste a problem

Chemicals and toxic substances are released from these materials. These can contaminate our environment and pose a risk to health & wildlife.

  • Electronics waste (E-waste) is responsible for 70% of all heavy metals found in U.S. landfills (lead, mercury, cadmium, copper, etc.).

  • A TV or computer monitor contains 7 lbs of lead!

  • Mercury and other substances released into the air and water are toxic to wildlife & humans. Mercury is easily absorbed through the lungs and skin.  A single broken mercury thermometer can contaminate up to 5 million gallons of water!

  • The mercury from one fluorescent bulb can ruin 6,000 gallons of drinking water.


End -of- life recycling

Take u-waste to these local facilities. Some facilities accept both u-waste and e-waste. Click here for all battery drop-off locations.

Northern Recycling & Waste Services: 920 American Way, Paradise.
E-waste accepted Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fluorescent / mercury containing items accepted at HHW Facility on rotating Wednesday's / Saturday's 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

AAA Recycle Center: 1615 Porter St., Oroville, 532-7950
E-waste only.

Better Deal Exchange Hardware: 1845 Mitchell Ave, Oroville ,533-5600
CFL's (must be in plastic wrap bag, no loose or broken) only and fluorescent (must be no longer than 4 feet).

Butte County Fire Station #64: 22 Walnut Dr, Kelly Ridge,538-7228
Saturdays, 9-1 (Bulbs only, no ballasts)

Butte County Household Hazardous Waste Facility: 1101 Marauder St. Chico, 343-5488
E-waste and U-waste

Computers for Classrooms:
315 Huss Dr., Chico, 895-4175
E-waste only.

Gridley Household Hazardous Waste Recycling: Ord Rand Rd. Gridley, 743-6933
E-waste and U-waste

Home Depot: 2580 Notre Dame Blvd, Chico, 342-0477
CFLs and fluorescent tubes only.

Home Depot: 2150 3rd St. (Off Nelson) Oroville, 538-0521
CFL's and fluorescent tubes only.

Hudson Appliance: 454 Pearson Rd., Paradise, 877-6312
E-waste and major appliances (fee applies).

Lowe's: 2350 Forest Avenue, Chico - 895-5130
CFL's and fluorescent tubes only.

Neal Road Recycling & Waste Facility: 1023 Neal Road, Paradise, 345-4917
E-waste and U-waste (No ballasts).

Park Village Hardware: 1646 Park Ave, Chico, 342-1138
CFL's and fluorescent tubes only.

Recology Butte-Colusa Counties Oroville Household Hazardous Waste: 2720 S. 5th Ave. Oroville , 533-5868
E-waste and U-waste

Thomas Ace Hardware: 5720 Clark Road, Paradise, 877-4442
CFL's and fluorescent tubes only.