It’s illegal and hazardous to the environment to throw out a mercury thermostat with your regular trash. To ensure that mercury thermostats are being properly recycled, TRC is working to collect old mercury thermostats at local collection sites. You can drop off your old mercury thermostat at one of our local collection sites and you may even qualify to receive a rebate.
If you fit in to one of the categories on the right, you may qualify for a rebate. Use the dropdown selector to get more information.
Sales Ban: The sale of mercury thermostats is prohibited.
Installation Ban: The installation of mercury thermostats is prohibited.
Disposal Ban: The disposal of mercury thermostats in solid waste is prohibited.
Mandatory Contractor Recycling: HVAC contractors and Demolition Contractors are required to recycle all mercury thermostats removed service.
Collection Program Requirements
Mandatory Wholesale Distributor Collection: HVAC wholesale distributor are prohibited from selling any thermostat unless their location(s) are acting as a collection point for waste mercury thermostats.
Mandatory Manufacturer Funded Collection and Recycle: Manufacturers that historically branded and sold mercury thermostats in California are required to individually or collectively participate in a collection program.
Mandatory Web and Catalog Sales Take-back: Retailers or wholesalers selling by mail must facilitate a mail-back collection program.
Recycling Your Old Mercury-Containing Thermostats
In 2008, mercury thermostat collection legislation was passed in California requiring thermostat manufacturers to establish collection programs for contractor and consumer-generated mercury thermostats. The legislation also requires all HVAC wholesale distributors with facilities in California to act as a collection point for waste mercury thermostats.
IT IS ILLEGAL TO DISPOSE OF A MERCURY THERMOSTATS IN SOLID WASTE IN CALIFORNIA. HVAC CONTRACTORS MUST RECYCLE ALL MERCURY THERMOSTATS THEY REMOVE FROM SERVICE. IT IS ILLEGAL TO LEAVE THEM AT THE CUSTOMER’S PREMISE. TRC IS THE EASIEST AND CHEAPEST WAY TO COMPLY WITH CALIFORNIA LAW.
TRC provides collection containers to HVAC wholesale distributors, thermostat retailers, and HVAC contractors for a nominal one-time charge. TRC will also provide collection containers at no-cost to any California local government for use at household hazardous waste collection facility or household hazardous waste event. Local Governments can order collection containers at no cost by clicking here. TRC assumes all costs to ship and properly dispose of mercury containing thermostats.
In 2013, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) placed additional requirements on C-20 HVAC and C-21 Demolition contractors and business collecting waste mercury thermostats through manufacturer sponsored program(s). As of July 1, 2013, these contractors or their employees, upon delivering a waste mercury thermostat to a collection location, must provide the location with their contractors State Licensing Board Identification Number (CSLB).
How can you participate in the program?
Bring your mercury-containing thermostat to any TRC collection location for proper disposal. There are over 350 Collection Locations currently in California. At certain HVAC distributors you can earn points for every mercury thermostat recycled to redeem online for merchandise. For more information on this program and participating locations visit www.recycle-scratch-earn.com.
HVAC contracting businesses with seven or more technicians or those serving rural communities may participate directly in the program by ordering a collection container.
Fines for Noncompliance
Each manufacturer, retailer, wholesaler, or contractor found in violation of the provisions in this section is subject to fines up to $70,000 per violation.
State Information on Mercury Thermostats: California Department of Toxic Substances Control