SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has released proposed regulations that establish performance goals for the collection and recycling of used thermostats containing mercury.

A 2006 state law banned the sale of new mercury-added thermostats and the disposal of those thermostats in solid waste landfills. A 2008 law, the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act, requires the former producers of mercury-added thermostats to establish a collection and recycling program for waste thermostats.

Under the proposed regulations, manufacturers would be required to collect and recycle over 65,000 mercury-containing thermostats in 2013, or 30 percent of the estimated total number of mercury thermostats becoming waste. Each year, for the following five years, recycling goals would increase until 2017, when the goal would be a 75 percent collection and recycling rate, or in excess of 147,000 mercury thermostats.

The proposed regulations would require manufacturers who formerly sold mercury thermostats to meet these recycling goals either through participation in the Thermostat Recycling Corp. or an independently sponsored program.

DTSC will hold a public hearing on the proposed regulations at 9 a.m. on Oct. 2 in the Byron Sher Auditorium in Sacramento, Calif. At the hearing, statements or arguments relevant to this proposal will be accepted. Written comments must be submitted to DTSC no later than 5 p.m. Oct. 2.

Publication date: 9/17/2012