East / Regional Reports

HARDI Partners to Recycle Mercury Thermostats in Conn.

August 24, 2009
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Members of the Heating, Airconditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) in Connecticut are stepping up efforts to collect mercury thermostats through a partnership with the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI).

The goal is to collect more than 500 mercury thermostats in the Bridgeport, Conn., area this heating season. HARDI members in Bridgeport and surrounding communities are putting mercury thermostat collection bins in their stores and encouraging contractors to use them to recycle every mercury thermostat they remove.

The following HARDI members have stepped up to take a leadership role on mercury thermostat collections:

• New England Heating Supply, Bridgeport.

• R.E. Michael Co., Stratford.

• Shelton Winair Co., Shelton.

• Sid Harvey’s, Stratford.

• Torrington Supply Co, Stratford.

• Johnstone Supply, Milford.

While mercury thermostats are no longer sold, many are still in use in area homes and businesses. According to PSI, each mercury thermostat contains an average of 4 grams of mercury, more than a thousand times the amount contained in a compact fluorescent light bulb.

Bridgeport has been selected for this national pilot program to demonstrate how best to boost collections of out-of-service thermostats that contain mercury. HARDI members have long supported mercury thermostat collection efforts through the manufacturer-funded Thermostat Recycling Corp., in which HVAC distributors act as collection points for waste thermostats for no-cost shipping and recycling. Many members have bins in their stores already.

This project is run by PSI, a national organization working to reduce the environmental and health impacts of consumer products. It has the support of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, and the Bridgeport Department of Public Facilities.

HVACR distributors nationwide can join many HARDI members already collecting mercury thermostats by contacting the Thermostat Recycling Corp; call 800-238-8192 or visit www.thermostat-recycle.org to request a thermostat recycling bin.

For more information about HARDI, contact Talbot Gee at tgee@hardinet.org or 614-345-4328.

Publication date: 08/24/2009

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