ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC) set a record for mercury thermostats collected in 2014 — the highest collection amount in the 17 years of the program’s history. TRC’s program properly disposes of mercury thermostats, keeping potential hazardous materials from entering the waste stream.

More than 203,000 mercury thermostats were collected through TRC’s network in 2014, a 12 percent increase over 2013. Last year’s amount contributed to the more than 9 tons of mercury TRC has diverted from solid waste since collection efforts first began in 1998.

TRC’s collection program primarily relies on HVAC contractors who remove mercury thermostats from service and return them to wholesale distributors participating in TRC’s program to be recycled. The HVAC industry continued to lead in terms of collections as wholesale distributor locations contributed 78 percent of all collections nationwide.

“This is a big achievement since all major manufacturers of mercury thermostats ceased production by 2009, meaning the amount available to recover continues to decline,” said Mark Tibbetts, executive director, TRC. “These gains help us make a greater positive impact on the environment thanks to the continued dedication of our collection partners.”