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Recycling of mercury thermostats

December 24, 2013

ALBANY, NY — A new law signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will require manufacturers to collect and recycle mercury-containing thermostats at no cost to consumers, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced on December 19. The law implements a statewide thermostat product stewardship program to ensure that hazardous mercury is properly handled, preventing potential adverse health effects and damage to the environment.

“Proper precautions should be taken when mercury thermostats are removed or replaced to prevent breakage and dangerous mercury releases into the environment,” Martens said. “This new law establishes a program to collect and safely dispose of mercury thermostats, which will protect New Yorkers and our environment.”

Beginning July 1, 2014, thermostat manufacturers are required to establish a system for the collection, transport, recycling, disposal and proper management of out-of-service mercury thermostats, and also conduct education and outreach to consumers, thermostat wholesalers, contractors and contractor associations regarding the mercury thermostat collection program. The statewide goal for calendar year 2015 is to collect 15,500 out-of-service mercury thermostats.