States Mandate Recycling

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A new Pennsylvania law designed to increase the collection and recycling of waste mercury thermostats goes into effect Dec. 8 of this year. Following similar legislation in California, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, the Mercury-Free Thermostat Act of 2008 (HB 44) requires all HVAC wholesalers in Pennsylvania to act as a collection point for waste mercury thermostats.

The law also mandates that contractors and thermostat retailers either participate in a manufacturer supported collection program or provide notice to customers that recycling of mercury thermostats is required and identify locations of nearby collection points. Under the law, manufacturers must collect and recycle waste mercury thermostats at no cost to contractors and homeowners.

The Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC), a nonprofit organization, is providing collection containers to HVAC wholesalers for a nominal one-time fee. The organization absorbs all subsequent costs to ship and recycle waste mercury thermostats.

“TRC wants contractors to know that it’s easy, convenient, and most importantly free for them to properly dispose of mercury thermostats,” said Mark Tibbetts, TRC’s executive director. “To comply with the law, all HVAC contractors need to do is to hang onto the mercury thermostats they remove from service and drop them off for recycling at their local HVAC supply house.”

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Publication date: 11/30/2009

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