Wisconsin Universal Wastes regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Wisconsin Universal Wastes: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Universal waste rule: Wisconsin Administrative Code, Department of Natural Resources (NR) 673

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Crushed lamps: NR 673.05(2)(c)

Regulatory Agency

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Environmental Management Division Waste & Materials Management Program

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Wisconsin follows the federal regulations for universal waste but has not yet adopted the federal provisions in connection with managing aerosol cans as universal waste. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) allows used antifreeze to be managed as universal wastes, provided the antifreeze is destined for recycling. Although the state has not yet adopted regulations to manage antifreeze as a universal waste, the DNR “exercises discretion” in managing used antifreeze destined for recycling as a universal waste, pursuant to a DNR Memorandum of January 1, 2020, Management of Wisconsin-Specific Universal Wastes. Check with the DNR to verify that it is still allowing such management of used antifreeze, despite the absence of Wisconsin regulations authorizing such management.

Administration and enforcement. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) Environmental Management Division administers and enforces the universal wastes rule in Wisconsin.

State Requirements


NR 673.05(2)(c)

Although it's a long-standing DNR policy, Wisconsin has revised its universal waste lamp regulations to confirm that lamps that are intentionally broken or crushed by the generator of the lamps do not qualify for management as a universal waste.

Read more about Universal Wastes