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Sonoma County Waste Management Agency

Mercury thermostats

thermostatSome wall mounted thermostats use mercury switches to sense and control room temperature in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Mercury thermostats were widely used in California prior to 1992 and were legal to buy until 2006. The mercury switch is a glass vial with mercury in it which conducts electricity to the temperature control equipment. Replace mercury thermostats with non-toxic programmable (digital) thermostats.

Why should mercury thermostats be recycled?
Approximately 3 grams of mercury is used in a thermostat. Disposing of old thermostats, using traditional methods (throwing out in the trash) result in breakage, allowing mercury to be released into the environment.  Elemental mercury is a powerful neurotoxin and does not break down, but builds up in fish, birds and people.  Inhaling or ingesting mercury over time can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys, or to developing fetuses. The safe recovery of mercury-containing thermostats prevents pollution and protects public health.

About the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008
AB 2347 requires that beginning July 1, 2009 all heating and air conditioning wholesalers with physical locations in California will be required by law to collect end-of use thermostats from the public at no charge.

1. Drop-off wall-mounted mercury switch thermostats at all heating and air conditioning wholesalers: for residents & businesses

American Refrigeration Supplies, Inc.
www.ars-net.com
245 Sutton Place, Santa Rosa 
(707) 588-5777

Baker Distributing
www.bakerdist.com
300 W. Robles, Bldg. J, Santa Rosa  
(707) 585-9400

Johnstone Supply
200 Talmadge Drive, Santa Rosa 
(707) 528-1991

Refrigeration Supply Distributors
www.rsd.net
3355 McMaude Place, Santa Rosa  
(707) 585-1133

Slakey Brothers
www.slakey.com
2845 Duke Ct., Santa Rosa 
(707) 544-3434

U.S. Air Conditioning Distributors
www.us-ac.com
256 Sutton Place, Ste. 102, Santa Rosa
(707) 566-9810

2. Dispose of spent mercury thermostats and other mercury products through the Agency's Hazardous Waste programs: for residents & businesses

For residents
Household Toxics Facility
Community Toxics Collections
Toxic Rover Pickup Service

3. Mail back recycling options: for HVAC contractors and builders

Funded by manufacturers, the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) provides HVAC contractors and builders free postage-paid collections bins with a one-time set up fee.

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency ● 2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-100 ● Santa Rosa, CA 95403