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Universal Waste Disposal

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Universal Waste (U-Waste) includes products containing low levels of hazardous metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and chromium. These items can potentially contaminate soil and ground water if deposited into landfills, and should NEVER be placed in the regular trash or recycling bins.

The following are examples of U-Waste:

  • Common household batteries
  • Fluorescent tubes and bulbs
  • Halogen bulbs
  • Lamps containing mercury
  • Thermostats
  • Electrical switches and relays
  • Pilot light sensors
  • Mercury gauges and thermometers
  • Non-empty aerosol cans (if empty, these can be disposed of in the regular trash bin)


To dispose of U-Waste, the City of Palm Desert and Burrtec Waste and Recycling Services encourages residents to use the At-Home HHW Collection Program. Residents simply contact Burrtec at (760) 340-2113 to schedule a pick-up. Materials must be placed in a secure location not accessible to the general public until collection day. Collections are limited to four (4) per calendar year and items cannot exceed 15 gallons or 125 lbs. per pick up. Smaller items must fill a 13" x 15" box (mixed items acceptable) to be eligible for pick-up. Minimum pick-up for household batteries, fluorescent tubes, bulbs, and halogen bulbs is a 29 oz. coffee can full of batteries and at least 10 bulbs.

Universal Waste can also be disposed of at Burrtec's Recycle Center located at 41-800 Corporate Way in Palm Desert. The facility accepts these items free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Verification of residency is required (e.g. drivers license or utility bill with name and Palm Desert address). There is no minimum disposal requirement.


Palm Desert businesses that generate small quantities of hazardous waste (up to 27 gallons or 220 lbs. or 2.2 lbs of extremely hazardous waste per month) are considered Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG). Qualifying businesses simply contact the CESQG hotline at (800) 952-5566 to schedule an appointment to drop-off their hazardous waste, which includes U-Waste and E-Waste, to the City’s HHW facility located at 41-800 Corporate Way in Palm Desert. The City pays for the first $500.00 of disposal costs annually for qualifying businesses and verification of business location is required (e.g. a City business license).

 Please contact the Public Works Department at (760) 776-6450 or for more information.