TORONTO - The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH), along with the Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), has expanded the voluntary “Switch the Stat” program. The goal of the expanded program is to meet British Columbia’s extended producer responsibility regulations for thermostats. It will be implemented with the help of Summerhill Impact, a nonprofit organization that encourages behavioral change through environmental public engagement campaigns.

“Switch the Stat” recycles all thermostats. The program has been brought to British Columbia as a mandated responsible manufacturer-funded program.

The plan calls for putting thermostat recycling bins into the hands of installers, contractors, wholesalers, distributors, and retailers (i.e., anyone who may have contact with old thermostats).

The goal for CIPH members is that having a thermostat recycling bin at their location will make it easier to support local customers and participate in this program.

This means that there will be no cost to the contractor, wholesaler, or distributor to participate. Participants simply must display the bin, and customers just have to put the old thermostats in it.

The ultimate responsibility falls to the thermostat manufacturers; they are funding the program to recycle old thermostats and divert them from landfills.

Interested parties may register for a recycling bin at their location at www.summerhillgroup.ca/eng/impact/programs/switch-the-stat-signup.php.

With approval, implementation is expected to begin as early as July 2010. CIPH will also be engaging its allies, Thermal Environmental Comfort Association (TECA) and the Mechanical Contractors Association of BC (MCABC), to take this message out to their members.

CIPH members in British Columbia consist of over 137 plumbing and heating wholesale distribution locations that come into contact with thousands of plumbing and heating contractors, hydronic installers, general contractors, and renovation professionals. Every one of these professionals removes old thermostats from walls at jobsites. So as more locations and professionals participate in “Switch the Stat,” the program is expected to become increasingly more successful.

Publication date: 06/21/2010