Hazardous Waste/Universal Waste

Hazardous Waste Introduction

In 1979, the Maine Legislature enacted the Maine Hazardous Waste, Septage and Solid Waste Management Act. This Act directed the State of Maine Department of Environmental Protection to issue State regulations for the safe management and transportation of hazardous wastes. These rules built upon the minimum Federal rules, tailoring them to Maine's environment and strong reliance on groundwater for drinking water. These rules are called the Maine Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, Chapters 850 through 858.

What is Hazardous Waste?

A hazardous waste is a waste that exhibits a hazardous characteristic or is a listed waste. There are four criteria that define a characteristic waste. They are:

  1. Ignitability
  2. Corrosivity
  3. Reactivity
  4. Toxicity

There are also four categories of listed wastes. They are:

  1. Non-specific sources, such as a halogenated solvent
  2. Specific sources, such as bottom sludge from wastewater treatment of wood preserving processes that use creosote and/or pentachlorophenol
  3. Commercial chemical products, intermediates or off-specification products. There are two lists for this category, one for acute wastes and one for non-acute wastes. An example of an acute waste is epinephrine. An example of a non-acute waste is naphthalene.
  4. Polychlorinated biphenyl. (PCB's)

Photos of Good, Bad and Ugly Hazardous Waste Situations


For more information contact the Hazardous Waste Staff at (207) 287-7688.

Hazardous Waste Laws

Please also see:

Hazardous Waste Rules


Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest and US EPA e-Manifest System

Shipments of hazardous waste must be documented by a Federal Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest. The Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest is available in a traditional paper form or, as of June 30, 2018, an electronic form known as the EPA e-Manifest system.. See Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest and EPA's e-Manifest System for more detailed information including e-Manifest fact sheets and a RCRA Industry User Registration Guide.

Additional Information

RCRA Program Quality Assurance Plan

RCRA Program Quality Assurance Plan – It is the goal of the MDEP/RCRA to implement a Quality Assurance Program (QAP) for all environmental activities that generate data. The QAP is a management tool that will help guarantee that data is of sufficient known quality to withstand scientific and legal challenge relative to the use for which the data is obtained. (pdf format)

Related Programs

Universal Waste Introduction

What is Universal Waste?

A universal waste is a hazardous waste that is widely generated by individuals, businesses, and hospitals…by almost anyone. Universal wastes are certain batteries, cathode ray tubes, certain lamps, fluorescent bulbs, mercury devices, mercury thermostats, motor vehicle mercury switches and polychlorinated biphenyl ballasts. Because these items are products, they have not traditionally been recognized for their hazards and have typically been thrown in the trash. These wastes contain hazardous constituents and would fail hazardous waste criteria if they were tested. For example, most of these wastes contain heavy metals. These wastes when broken such as in a dumpster or landfill, or when incinerated, release the metals to the environment through either fugitive emissions or from incinerator stacks.

Photos of good, bad and ugly Universal Waste Situations.


For more information contact the Hazardous Waste Staff at (207) 287-7688.

Universal Waste Laws

Chapter 16-B: MERCURY-ADDED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES (HEADING: PL 1999, c. 779, @2 (new))

Universal Waste Rules

  • Chapter 858 -- Universal Waste Rules
  • Universal Waste Handbook {LINK}


Additional Information

Recycling Programs

Other Related Links

Household Hazardous Waste - How to dispose of Household Hazardous Waste, Towns Organizing Household Hazardous Waste Collections, Recycling Program for Mercury Containing Thermostats, Recycling Program for Rechargeable Batteries, Universal Waste, and Computer Recycling in Maine.