Thermostat Recycling Corporation’s (TRC) launched its third annual Big Man on Planet competition May 1! Two years ago, in partnership with HARDI (Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International), “Big Man on Planet” began an effort to create friendly competition among HARDI members to see who could recycle the most mercury thermostats.  This year, 21 distributors with more than 1,000 branch locations nationwide are competing to win bragging rights at the 2014 HARDI Annual Conference in San Antonio Dec. 6 to 9.

As of mid-October, more than 31,000 mercury thermostats have been collected. The inaugural winner in 2012 was Johnson Supply, whose 23 participating collection sites recovered 14 pounds of mercury during the three-month competition. Last year, we upped the competition to span six months, and the winner was Johnstone Supply, whose 69 participating collection sites recovered more than 107 pounds of mercury.

This year, the competition’s structure changed to give smaller distributors a chance to win. There will be one winner from each tier:

  • Tier 1: 1-10 locations.
  • Tier 2: 11-40 locations.
  • Tier 3: 41+ locations.

TRC sweetened the pot this year by offering a $500 employee incentive to the branch location that recycles the most mercury thermostats within each tier. In September, TRC doubled down by offering an additional $500 to the branch location that recycles the most in the OVERALL competition, regardless of their tier. Who doesn’t love a chance to win $1,000?

The deadline to receive thermostats has been extended to Nov. 7 to accommodate the huge influx of returns that TRC’s facility has been receiving this month. It is an extremely close competition, and TRC is very grateful to its participants for helping to keep mercury out of the waste stream and protect the environment. Keep up the great work.

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