Handling and disposing of waste in Pennsylvania can be confusing because there are four categories of waste with different regulations:

  • Hazardous Waste
  • Residual Waste
  • Universal Waste
  • Municipal Waste

Hazardous Waste

A waste is hazardous if it could pose a danger to human health and the environment after being discarded, if it is listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or if it has certain characteristics such as ignitability, toxicity, corrosivity or reactivity.

Residual Waste

In Pennsylvania, residual waste is industrial, mining and agricultural waste that is not considered to be hazardous or municipal waste

Universal Waste

Universal wastes are specific types of hazardous wastes that do not have to meet all of the hazardous waste regulations.
Examples include some batteries, pesticides, lamps, thermostats and other mercury devices.

Municipal Waste

Municipal waste is garbage, refuse, industrial lunchroom or office waste and other material resulting from operation of residential, municipal, commercial or institutional establishments and from community activities that is not residual or hazardous waste.