Mercury Thermostat Disposal

So you’ve got your brand new WiFi thermostat, and you’re wondering what to do with your old mercury thermostat you’ve just replaced.

In many states it is actually illegal to throw them in the trash due to the mercury which they contain – a highly toxic metal which can make its way into the food chain if it’s not disposed of correctly.

Mercury Thermostat Disposal Laws

Here are the 12 states* in which it is illegal to dispose of a mercury thermostat other than by recycling them:

  • California
  • Iowa
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New York
  • New Hampshire
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Pennsylvania
  • Vermont

* As of the first of July 2014 it will also be illegal to dispose of them in Connecticut.

How To Recycle A Mercury Thermostat

Recycling is quite easy – you simply drop them off at a collection point. But before you do that please ensure that you do not remove the mercury ampoule – the thermostat must be left intact for recycling – you don’t want to expose yourself to the mercury inside.

To find your nearest collection point simply use the very handy free tool provided by the not-for-profit Thermostat Recycling Corporation.

Once you’ve found the place to take it, wrap it up in a plastic bag and drop it off – it’s really as simple as that!

Special Rules for HVAC Contractors

Special laws apply to contractors about mercury thermostat disposal in many states. If you are unsure about your state laws then either contact the EPA or visit their webpage for State-Specific Universal Waste Regulations.

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