Aerosol - Universal Waste Rulemaking Status


JULY 20, 2020

In December 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Final Rule to add hazardous waste aerosol cans to the Universal Waste (UW) Program under the Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations.

The Final Rule, which went into effect on Feb. 7, 2020, is less stringent than previous aerosol regulations, which classify aerosols as hazardous waste, but all states need to adopt the rule into their state regulations over time. This rule impacts a variety of establishments, including in the retail sector, across the country.

The following states and territories have already added aerosol cans to the Universal Waste Regulations: Alaska, Iowa, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. California, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Ohio already have similar state laws in effect.

Minnesota is the most recent state to adopt the rule, although an amendment is expected by Dec. 31, 2020. The rule is open for public comment in Minnesota during the second half of 2020.

Additional state-by-state updates in the past month are outlined below.

The following states have anticipated rulemaking by Dec. 31, 2020, with public comment period in the second half of 2020:

  • Alabama
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Indiana

The below states have anticipated rulemaking after Dec. 31, 2020, with public comment period in the second half of 2020:

  • Washington, D.C.
  • New Hampshire
  • Tennessee
  • Delaware (public comment period not yet open)

North Dakota is anticipated to have rulemaking after Dec. 31, 2020, with public comment period in the first half of 2021.


It is critical that aerosol products are handled and discarded responsibly in compliance with state and federal law in a way that reduces their potential environmental impact. Clean Earth has extensive technical capabilities to handle the processing of many types of consumer commodities, including a custom-built, cutting-edge aerosol recycling plant capable of recycling more than 7 million cans per year.

By thinking of these waste streams not only as an environmental responsibility but also as a potential resource, Clean Earth is able to achieve our environmental sustainability goals while offsetting the cost of processing the material. Learn more about our unique ability to process and fully recycle aerosol waste products.

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