New York’s regulations have been updated to include aerosol cans and paint in the list of universal wastes. The revision modifies the definition of universal waste in 6 NYCRR 370.2 to include pressurized aerosol cans (374-3.1(f)) and paint (374-3.1(g)). The updated definition provides clear definitions for these items, which include architectural coatings and structural coatings.

Moreover, the New York regulation modifies Subpart 374, introducing precise guidelines for handling these universal wastes. Hazardous waste aerosol cans fall under the scope of both the Federal Aerosols Can Universal Waste Rule and additional, more stringent state-specific provisions.  To manage universal waste paint, certain measures are required, such as avoiding exposure to heat, implementing secondary containment, labeling containers, and providing employee training.

Recently, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) revised the regulations in 6 NYCRR Parts 370, 371, 373, 374, and 376, effective from July 8, 2023. These changes involve incorporating EPA’s Aerosol Cans Rule and designating hazardous waste paint as universal waste, supporting New York’s paint take-back initiative. 

Aerosol cans are commonly used in various settings and households, resulting in significant amounts of hazardous waste generated by large retail facilities. To promote recycling, reduce landfill waste, and ease regulatory burdens for waste generators, the Universal Waste Rule is exploring the possibility of including aerosol cans. In a similar vein, manufacturers of architectural paint are required to follow a paint recycling program under the paint take-back law. Currently, the DEC is developing a state Universal Waste Rule for paints that aim to simplify management requirements. The proposed rule defines aerosol cans and paint precisely, and provides guidelines for containment, labelling, and employee training.

The revisions have added specific requirements for handling aerosol cans. Storing incompatible contents together before puncturing is prohibited. Small quantity handlers are only allowed to puncture their generated cans, while off-site facilities must meet large quantity handler standards. Proposed standards for paint include protecting containers from heat, using secondary containment during consolidation, labeling, and adhering to a one-year accumulation limit. Handlers must quickly contain any spills and determine if the resulting materials are hazardous waste, following relevant regulations. However, autobody coatings, two-part epoxy-based flooring paints, industrial paints, and others are not included in the universal waste paint definition.


Reach out to our regulation experts on chemical and product regulatory compliances