How to Dispose of Mercury Thermostats

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How to Dispose of Mercury Thermostats

Free Recycling for Contractors

In California, there are as many as 10.5 million mercury-containing thermostats still in use. With each one containing about 4 grams of mercury, that equals nearly 50 tons of the toxic substance that must be handled and disposed of properly. As a contractor, you can help.

Mercury can pose serious problems to the environment and public health. Mercury doesn’t break down, so it builds up in our local waterways, contaminating fish, aquatic animals and humans. Just one mishandled thermostat can pollute 20 million gallons of water! What’s more, mercury is toxic to the brain, lungs and kidneys–and children are the most vulnerable. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 75,000 babies are born with a risk of developing learning disabilities due to mercury exposure.

Currently, only 8% of mercury-containing thermostats are being properly disposed. We can do better! Thermostat Recycling Corporation, a non-profit organization that manages the collection and proper disposal of mercury-containing thermostats, has set up a simple system to provide businesses with FREE thermostat collection bins. If your General or HVAC-contracting business has seven or more technicians or serves rural communities, you are eligible to participate! Follow the steps below:

  1. Sign up using TRC’s order form. Go to TRC will send you a FREE collection bin.
  2. Fill up your bin with any mercury-containing thermostats you remove from California homes and businesses.
  3. Drop off the bin at a nearby collection center. There are more than 3,400 collection centers nationwide. Find one near you at

Have more questions? Visit TRC’s Resource FAQ at