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Who Needs Universal Waste Training?


Chances are, if your company has a presence in the US - even just an office - you do!

This is a common audit finding during ISO 14001 audits. Why? Because the company environmental policy says the company will comply with regulations, universal waste is a regulation and it's easy pickings to see non-compliance in labeling, training and accumulation dates. Any systems auditor, no matter whether they have an environmental background or not, can know that your company needs universal waste training, and to properly manage your universal waste. That means:

  • Labeling with the words "Universal Waste" and whatever it is, e.g., batteries, bulbs
  • The date that the first battery or bulb was placed in the container
  • The material may not be accumulated for more than a year
  • The box or container properly closed and secured to prevent breakage

You really do want to secure those containers. Universal waste that breaks or leaks is now hazardous waste, and subject to all of the requirements that come with that designation.

Need help with training? Request this PowerPoint template and customize it to your state, your operations, and your types of universal wastes. 


Universal Waste Training Template




It’s all in the details.  Make sure you have a copy of the standard and are using it to build and check your system.  That way, there won’t be any surprises at your next surveillance or re-certification audit.

Need help? Check out our EMS forms and templates in our ISO Help Store, or schedule time for a one-on-one phone call with an ISO Auditor at our ISO Help Consult page.

Interested in more information on our comprehensive suite of environmental services? E-mail us to request a copy of our Statement of Qualifications.

About the Author

Joyce Kristiansson, M.S., is a Certified Environmental Professional Auditor and part-time registrar auditor for an ISO certification body.  With more than 35 years of environmental experience, including twelve years in ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems, Joyce has experienced EMS systems and processes from all perspectives:  developing, maintaining, sustaining, and auditing (both internal and certification).  Recognizing the improved environmental performance and positive financial results that can result from an effective EMS, Joyce wants to make the process as simple and inexpensive as possible so that small and medium-sized businesses can have the same competitive advantages as larger companies - without using a consultant.

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