TRC Recycles 140,993 Mercury Containing Thermostats
Fort Washington, Pennsylvania — The price of success in 2018 for recycling mercury containing thermostats, resulted in 140,993 units collected, a continued decrease from its peak year in 2014, according to Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC).
“We have collected more than 2.5 million mercury containing thermostats in the 20-plus years of our existence and have had by every objective measurement outstanding success,” said Ryan L. Kiscaden, executive director, TRC. “The fruits of this labor are now more evident than ever before. Our collection numbers continue to decline, demonstrating our recovery and recycling efforts and we are nearing our goal of finding that last mercury containing thermostat.”
The success of the program is judged by meeting the strategic goals of TRC, created when Honeywell, White-Rodgers and General Electric established the nonprofit in 1998 to promote the safe collection and proper disposal of mercury containing thermostats. Today, 30 industry partners support its environmental mission. Mercury containing thermostats were manufactured until 2006, and their removal became necessary after the element — which cannot be destroyed — became a well-known health hazard.
The collection numbers reached a peak in 2014 with 203,346 units and have declined since.
“While we rejoice at the decreased numbers, because that indicates we’re doing our job, we face the unfortunate economic consequences of our success that the cost per acquisition has risen each year even as the average in the recycling container decreases,” Kiscaden says. “It’s the price of success.”
The decreased collection numbers have other considerations, according to Kiscaden. He notes that the exact number of remaining mercury containing thermostat is unknown. Some states have mandates for the collection of these thermostats, and now is the time for a realistic appraisal of the current situation that take into account this constant decrease.
Thermostat Recycling Corporation, founded in 1998, is an industry-funded nonprofit corporation supported by 30 manufacturers that historically branded and sold mercury thermostats in the United States. TRC maintains a network of more than 3,600 collection sites nationwide and has recovered more than 2.5 million thermostats, containing 11 tons of mercury, since its inception. TRC assumes all costs to transport and properly dispose of mercury switch thermostats recovered from service. Learn more about TRC at thermostat-recycle.org.