Most Californians have no idea how to recycle old mercury-containing thermostats, even though state law bans mercury waste from being thrown in the trash. New legislation introduced by Assemblymember Ira Ruskin with the support of Sierra Club California and the California Product Stewardship Council would give consumers free and convenient options for recycling their waste thermostats in an environmentally-responsible manner.
The Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008, Assembly Bill 2347, would allow
Californians to return their waste thermostats to any location that sells new thermostats.
Companies that make new thermostats for sale in the state would pick up most of the
costs for the recycling program.
Bill Magavern, Director of Sierra Club , hailed the legislation: “Most people want to do the right thing when it’s time to get rid of hazardous household products. Assemblymember Ruskin’s bill would finally provide free and convenient options for recycling mercury thermostats.” California
“Cash-strapped local governments have had to pay for hazardous product waste management for too long,” added
“There is a serious threat to public health from mercury, and it is time for the companies who have profited from selling these products to take responsibility for their disposal. Mercury pollution has already contaminated the waters of the
Mercury thermostats should be kept out of our air and water because on average they contain over 3,000 milligrams of the toxin (for purposes of comparison, fluorescent light bulbs contain around 5 milligrams). It is estimated that only 5 percent of