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Thermostats (wall-mounted mercury switch)

Mercury is found in some switches, thermostats and thermostat probes. Mercury, and mercury containing products, is considered a hazardous waste and must be disposed of properly.

In 2008, mercury thermostat collection legislation was passed in California requiring thermostat manufacturers to establish collection programs for contractor and consumer-generated mercury thermostats. The legislation also requires all HVAC wholesale distributors with facilities in California to act as a collection point for waste mercury thermostats.

Some wall mounted thermostats use mercury switches to sense and control room temperature in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Mercury thermostats were widely used in California prior to 1992 and were legal to buy until 2006. The mercury switch is a glass vial with mercury in it which conducts electricity to the temperature control equipment. Replace mercury thermostats with non-toxic programmable (digital) thermostats.

Why should mercury thermostats be recycled?
Approximately 3 grams of mercury is used in a thermostat. Disposing of old thermostats, using traditional methods (throwing out in the trash) result in breakage, allowing mercury to be released into the environment. Elemental mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and does not break down, but builds up in fish, birds and people. Inhaling or ingesting mercury over time can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys, or to developing fetuses. The safe recovery of mercury-containing thermostats prevents pollution and protects public health.

About the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008
AB 2347 requires that beginning July 1, 2009 all heating and air conditioning wholesalers with physical locations in California will be required by law to collect end-of use thermostats from the public at no charge.

Are you a General Contractor who accepts mercury thermostats?
The Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) is now offering incentives for general contractors to collect mercury thermostats in California. Incentives include free collection bins, free shipping, and $100 per full bin (minimum 40 thermostats) returned to TRC. Visit recyclethermostats.org to sign up for a bin.

1. Drop-off wall-mounted mercury switch thermostats at all heating and air conditioning wholesalers: for residents & businesses

See locations below.

2. Dispose of spent mercury thermostats and other mercury products through the Agency's Hazardous Waste programs: for residents & businesses

For residents

Household Hazardous Waste Facility

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events

Household Hazardous Waste Rover Pickup Service

3. Mail back recycling options: for HVAC contractors and builders

Funded by manufacturers, the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) provides HVAC contractors and builders free postage-paid collections bins with a one-time set up fee.




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Locations

Location pin AERC Recycling Solutions

1475 Crocker Ave
Hayward, CA 94544

NotesDrop-off, mail-back, pickup and fee: all types, call for quote. Drop-off second Fridays, 9A-3P, for individuals and small businesses. Pickup for large quantities.

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Location pin American Refrigeration Supplies, Inc.

245 Sutton Place
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

NotesDrop-off: wall-mounted mercury-switch thermostats, all brands.

Location pin Baker Distributing

300 W. Robles, Bldg. J
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

NotesDrop-off: wall-mounted mercury-switch thermostats, all brands.

Location pin Business Hazardous Waste Collection at the HHW Facility

500 Mecham Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952

NotesAppointment required. Accepts up to 27 gallons of liquid or 220 pounds of solid material.

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Location pin Grainger Industrial Supply

NotesDrop-off: wall-mounted mercury-switch thermostats, all brands.

Location pin Household Hazardous Waste Facility (HHW Facility)

500 Mecham Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952

NotesDrop-off: accepts up to 15 gallons of liquid (with a maximum of 5 gallons per container) or 125 pounds of solid material.

Location pin Johnstone Supply

200 Talmadge Dr.
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

NotesDrop-off: wall-mounted mercury-switch thermostats, all brands.

Location pin LampRecycling.com (Air Cycle Corporation)

2200 Ogden Ave, Ste 100
Lisle, IL 60632

NotesMail-back and fee: all kinds. Check web site for instructions.

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Location pin MercuryTracker

Minneapolis

NotesMail-back and fee: electrical devices such as thermostats and medical devices such as thermometers. Order recycling package on website.

Location pin Refrigeration Supply Distributors

3355 McMaude Place
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

NotesDrop-off: wall-mounted mercury-switch thermostats, all brands. Unit must be attached to switch.

Location pin Slakey Brothers

2845 Duke Ct.
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

NotesDrop-off: wall-mounted mercury-switch thermostats, all brands. Contractors only.

Location pin Stericycle, Inc.

NotesMail-back, pickup, and fee: call for quote.

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Location pin Thermostat Recycling Corporation

1765 Duke St.
Alexandria, VA 22314

NotesIn 2008, mercury thermostat collection legislation was passed in California requiring thermostat manufacturers to establish collection programs for contractor and consumer-generated mercury thermostats. The legislation also requires all HVAC wholesale distributors with facilities in California to act as a collection point for waste mercury thermostats. Visit the website if your business would like to become a collection point.

Location pin U.S. Air Conditioning Distributors

258 Sutton Place, Ste. 102
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

NotesDrop-off: wall-mounted mercury-switch thermostats, all brands.

Location pin Veolia North America

NotesPickup and fee: call for quote.

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