Universal Wastes for Michigan

Environmental and Safety – Universal Wastes for Michigan – Now Includes Aerosol Cans


A bulldozer moving garbage on a landfill waste site as a garbage truck dumps moreMichigan has adopted the Federal EPA Final Rule that added hazardous waste aerosol cans to the federal universal waste list. Many other states have as well, so if you are outside of Michigan, you will want to check your state requirements for this. The new requirements allow a company to dispose of empty and non-empty aerosol cans as universal waste instead of hazardous waste.

If you currently puncture your aerosol cans and recycle the empty can, this is also an accepted practices and you can continue to do this if you like.

For organizations that only have a few aerosol cans or no puncture system, this newer rule can allow for a disposal option that is less onerous and potential lest costly that disposing of non-empty aerosols as hazardous waste. Additionally, any universal waste aerosol cans would not count towards the organizations’ hazardous waste quantity.

There are specific labelling and storage requirements for Aerosol cans disposed of as universal waste and good guidance is provided in the Michigan Guide linked below.

Also be sure to check with your waste hauler to see if they have any specific options or requirements for disposal as well.

Link to a guide for Michigan.

What is an EMS or ISO 14001 System?

ISO 14001 Man Holding Grass Covered CableMany people immediately think of toxic waste and major pollution sites when they hear of an Environmental Management System (EMS) or ISO 14001. While these items would fall under an EMS, the actual scope is much broader and will affect almost everyone who works within a company with an EMS that meets the ISO 14001 requirements.

What is ISO 14001?

ISO 14001 was released in 1996 with the intent that companies manage all of the activities, products and services that can significantly impact the environment. The Standard has three basic objectives of continuous improvement, regulatory compliance and pollution prevention. The standard is broken into 5 main sections: Environmental Policy, Planning, Implementation & Operation, Checking and Corrective Action, and Management Review. To implement an ISO 14001 conforming EMS a company will have to write and implement approximately 6 new procedures and modify approximately 9 existing procedures (Assuming the company is currently ISO 9000 compliant)

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