Mercury, a potent neurotoxin, has historically been used as a component in thermostats, fluorescent lamps, and other products. When mercury-containing products are removed from service and sent to landfills, their mercury content is released into the environment, where it can work its way up the food chain and accumulate in fish and other creatures consumed by humans.
The Product Stewardship Institute and the Nebraska Product Stewardship Coalition aim to increase the amount of mercury that is diverted from landfills in Nebraska by educating contractors, wholesalers, retailers and municipal officials about the importance of properly managing mercury thermostats, fluorescent lamps, and other products, and the steps they can take to increase recovery.
The thermostat industry has created a product stewardship organization called the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) to collect and recycle mercury thermostats. While this program is mandated by extended producer responsibility laws in many states, participation is currently voluntary in Nebraska. Contractors, retailers, HVAC wholesalers and household hazardous waste programs can participate in the program as thermostat collection sites by paying a one-time $25 fee for a thermostat collection bin through TRC.
Find lamp recyclers here
Fact sheet for building owners and managers: safe management of fluorescent lamps
U.S. state regulations on fluorescent lamp disposal
City of Lincoln and Lancaster County Recycling Guide
Are you interested in supporting product stewardship for mercury thermostats or fluorescent lamps in your community? Contact us!