Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC) urges consumers to examine their thermostats and recycle them if their unit contains mercury on Monday, Oct. 24, Recycle Your Mercury Thermostat Day.
“TRC has successfully recycled millions of mercury-containing thermostats,” said Danielle Myers, operations and compliance manager, TRC. “However, our goal remains the same: to find and recycle that last mercury-containing thermostat. While we recognize our tremendous strides in replacing these units, we know that older versions still exist and pose a potential health risk if not properly recycled.”
Mercury was a component in thermostats until the industry discontinued the practice. U.S. manufacturers stopped making them between 2004 and 2007, but it is a reasonable assumption that some units remain in aging homes.
Mercury is a well-known hazard both to personal health and the environment. TRC has been at the forefront of promoting the removal and safe recycling of mercury-containing thermostats for more than 22 years.
TRC has been unrelenting in its mission to gain awareness from the public and the HVACR industry that mercury-containing thermostats exist and should be recycled properly. “It is a message that we have delivered consistently for more than 20 years, and it is one that is worth repeating as long as these units exist,” said Myers.
An essential component of our mission has been our collection locations, which include wholesalers, retailers and household hazardous waste facilities that collect the units in containers supplied by TRC. The locations send the thermostats to a TRC processing facility, where experts dismantle the units and remove the mercury for retort and safe storage. Mercury is an element and cannot be destroyed.
TRC created Recycle Your Mercury Thermostat Day in 2018 as part of its marketing and public relations efforts to highlight the need to collect and safely recycle these units.
“We coined this celebratory day as a public service effort to educate consumers and highlight the need to identify and recycle these old mercury-containing units,” said Myers. “Our campaign has also influenced HVAC contractors who are often involved in the replacement process. This campaign reminds them to drop off the thermostats at their nearest participating wholesaler. We have recycled millions of these units but want to ensure we retrieve every last one.”
Consumers or contractors can find their nearest recycling location by keying in their ZIP code at www.thermostat-recycle.org.
About Thermostat Recycling Corporation
Thermostat Recycling Corp., founded in 1998, is an industry-funded nonprofit corporation supported by 29 manufacturers that historically branded and sold mercury thermostats in the United States. TRC maintains a network of more than 3,600 collection sites nationwide and has recovered more than 2.7 million thermostats containing 12 tons of mercury since its inception. TRC assumes all costs to transport and properly dispose of mercury switch thermostats recovered from service. To learn more about TRC, visit www.thermostat-recycle.org.