The thermostat recycling program is a reverse distribution system in which out-of-service thermostats are collected from both household and commercial consumers. The thermostats are placed in special collection containers at participating facilities.
When the collection container is full, the participating facility returns the container to Thermostat Recycling Corp. in exchange for a new container. Thermostat Recycling Corp. arranges for recycling of the mercury from the thermostats.
- See how easy it is to participate in this program by reviewing the information and guidelines for participating facilities.
- See also a list of questions and answers for heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) wholesalers and distributors interested in participating in this program (Link).
Why it's important
Hundreds of mercury-containing thermostats are replaced each year in both commercial and residential buildings. If a convenient and environmentally sound way to recycle the mercury isn't provided, many of these thermostats are disposed of in the trash. Once sent to a landfill, mercury can leak out of the thermostats and potentially get into the air and water, thereby contaminating groundwater, surface water and drinking water resources.
Mercury contamination can affect our air, water and soil. Mercury accumulates through the food chain and can be ingested by humans through the consumption of fish caught in contaminated lakes and rivers.
Mercury has been shown to have long-lasting health effects, and human exposure to mercury has been linked to nervous system, kidney and liver damage, impaired childhood development and cancer.
Handling warranty product returns
- Don't mix used, out-of-warranty thermostats with warranty product. If a mercury thermostat fails in warranty, tag it using normal in-warranty tagging procedures and return it to the manufacturer for a replacement.
- If you put warranty products in the recycling container, you won't receive warranty credit or a replacement.
How you can help
- For the recycling program to be successful, we need your active support and cooperation. Your role is to obtain one or more collection containers and place them at your location so out-of-service wall-mounted thermostats can be collected.
- To recover a higher percentage of mercury thermostats, you're asked to actively encourage participation in these recycling efforts. You're also encouraged to accept intact mercury thermostats from any entity that wants to participate in this valuable program.
- This collection program is designed to be consistent with the Universal Waste Program for non-residential generators of mercury thermostats.
Who can have a collection container
Originally, only heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) wholesalers and distributors could have collection containers. Contractors and service technicians were directed to take their thermostats to these central collection points when they picked up new supplies
The recycling program has since been expanded to allow certain HVAC contractors that often don't regularly visit their wholesaler to obtain collection containers. Household hazardous waste collection programs also can now have collection containers.
Cost and signing up
There's an initial cost of $25 per collection container, but all other costs of shipment and recycling are borne by Thermostat Recycling Corp.
- To obtain one or more collection bins, please complete the container order form and return it to Thermostat Recycling Corp. for processing.
There's no cost to contractors, technicians or consumers to participate in the program if they take their thermostats to a participating facility that has a collection container.