Disposal & Recycling of Mercury-Containing Thermostats
are commonly found in most homes and are also used for commercial
applications as a means of regulating room temperature. The photo
at the right shows common thermostats and the glass ampoule under
the cover which contains the mercury. Mercury-containing
thermostats should not be disposed of in the regular trash.
Recycling Your Old Mercury-Containing Thermostats
In 2008, mercury thermostat collection legislation was passed requiring
thermostat manufactures to establish collection programs for contractor
and consumer-generated mercury thermostats and providing a financial
incentive of $5.00 for turning in a mercury thermostat for recycling.
How can you participate in the program? Bring your mercury-containing
thermostat to any of the locations listed below and receive either
an in-store credit (at retail locations) or a coupon that can be
mailed in to receive $5.00 reimbursement check - it's that simple.
(Note: No other mercury-containing products
are accepted as a part of this program.)
Each registered program locations offers a $5.00 incentive for
turning in a mercury-containing thermostat:
- Retail locations that
sell thermostats will be collecting thermostats in their stores
and offering a coupon toward $5.00 off the purchase of anything
in the store.
- Wholesale locations
that sell primarily to contractors and commercial customers will
be providing a coupon that the contractor can mail back to the
manufacturer for a $5.00 rebate that will be returned directly
to the customer in the form of a check.
- Municipal locations
can collect mercury-containing thermostats and customers will
be given a rebate coupon that can be mailed to the manufacturer
to receive a $5.00 reimbursement check.
If you have any questions relating to this program, please contact
The following is a list of "Registered Collection Points"
across the state where mercury-containing thermostats can be dropped
off for recycling and financial rebates:
Thermostats Containing Mercury
To determine if your thermostat contains a mercury switch, remove
the front cover. Once the cover is removed you should be able to
locate one or more glass ampoules (switches) that contain a silver
liquid (mercury). The photograph above shows the glass ampoule which
Alternatives to Mercury-Containing Thermostats
Electronic thermostats, which are mercury-free, are available.
The best alternative is to use what are called programmable thermostats.
These thermostats can be programmed to keep the temperature of a
house a certain level depending on the time of day and the season.
Programmable thermostats are encouraged for energy savings.