When mercury-containing thermostats reach end-of-use and become waste, it is important to ensure that they are properly disposed of. Mercury-containing thermostats may contain up to 12 grams of mercury and the mercury poses a risk to the environment if not properly disposed of. Many states have already enacted or are considering legislation regarding the proper disposal of waste thermostats.
For example, some states require all HVACR wholesalers to collect waste mercury thermostats. These include California, Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Failure to collect may result in prohibition on the sale of any thermostat at that location or civil penalties/fines.
Fortunately, most thermostat manufacturers provide funding to the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC). TRC is a non-profit organization that facilitates the collection and proper disposal of mercury-containing thermostats.
For a nominal, one-time $25 fee, TRC will provide an approved recycling container and everything else an HVACR wholesaler needs to start collecting. TRC also covers all ongoing costs to ship and process mercury-containing thermostats collected at the location. TRC will also help promote the program in your area.
To sign-up or for more information, visit http://www.thermostat-recycle.org/.