One of our clients recently asked us, are circuit boards hazardous waste? Since this seems to be a popular question, we wanted to share it with our blog followers. If your faculty generates circuit boards and you are sending them off site as Universal or Hazardous waste, stop and reconsider. USEPA and the Ohio EPA consider whole used and unused circuit boards as scrap metal and thus can be sent off site for recycling rather than as a regulated waste.
Whole unused circuit boards are considered commercial chemical products and are unregulated materials. Whole used circuit boards meet the definition of a spent material and/or a scrap metal, and therefore these circuit boards, when recycled, are exempt from hazardous waste regulations. For those of you who shred your circuit boards, as long as they don't contain any mercury switches/relays, nickel-cadmium or lithium batteries, then these too can be recycled; however, if the boards contain any of these materials they will be subject to hazardous waste regulations.
For more information on improving your hazardous waste management program, please contact August Mack!