Rhode Island State Laws

Sales Ban: The sale 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 Rhode Island are required to individually or collectively participate in a collection program.

 

Recycling Your Old Mercury-Containing Thermostats

In 2010, mercury thermostat collection legislation was passed in Rhode Island requiring thermostat manufacturers to establish collection programs for contractor and consumer-generated mercury thermostats. The legislation requires all HVAC wholesale distributors with facilities in Rhode Island to act as a collection point for waste mercury thermostats by February 1, 2011.

IT IS ILLEGAL TO DISPOSE OF A MERCURY THERMOSTATS IN SOLID WASTE IN RHODE ISLAND. 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 RHODE ISLAND LAW.

TRC provides collection containers to HVAC wholesale distributors, thermostat retailers, HVAC contractors, and Household Hazardous Waste programs for a nominal one-time charge.

How can you participate in the program?

Bring your mercury-containing thermostat to any TRC collection location for proper disposal. If your local HVAC wholesale distributor is not collecting waste mercury thermostats ask them to. 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 a $1,000 fine the first violation. Any following violation is subject to a fine of up to $5,000.

State Information on Mercury Thermostats: Department of Environmental Management