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TRC Blog

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Mercury Is Falling After 20 Years

Posted Apr 3, 2018 by Ryan Kiscaden

Mercury found in products in the waste stream is declining. 

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Casio Gets into the Mercury-Free World

Posted Mar 28, 2018

New Projector Protects the Environment

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Smarter One Thermostat at a Time

Posted Mar 26, 2018 by Ryan Kiscaden

Smart thermostats and programmable thermostats are very different.  Smart thermostats are the way of the future.

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Thermostats, TRC and Our Elevator Speech

Posted Mar 15, 2018 by Ryan Kiscaden

But what is it that you do?

Most of us have had the experience asking that question (mentally) of someone who just spent five minutes describing themselves and their company, yet the precise definition of the person’s duties or the company’s purpose remained hazy.

Thermostat Recycling Corp. is fortunate that I can distill what we do and explain our mission in a simple sentence: We keep mercury out of the waste stream to protect the environment.

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The TRC Journey with a Chicago Message

Posted Feb 8, 2018 by Ryan Kiscaden

I’m pausing during my visit to Chicago for the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance conference, mulling over how relevant this event is to TRC’s mission: removing and recycling mercury-filled thermostats throughout the United States.

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The Power of Public Comment

Posted Jan 18, 2018 by Ryan Kiscaden

The city of Philadelphia recently issued a 55-page report, “Power Our Future: A Clean Energy Vision for Philadelphia.” It was an admirable undertaking, attempting to develop and articulate a plan that was logical, workable and most important, responsive to energy and environmental concerns for the city’s long-term future.

We should commend them for the effort. However, the alarm bell started ringing when I read this sentence: “Buy a programmable thermostat to reduce energy usage when you’re away from home.” On the surface, a sensible suggestion. However, what was lacking is any advice that a consumer or business should follow if they were replacing a mercury-filled unit.

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Recycling and a Degree of Proportionality

Posted Jan 8, 2018 by Ryan Kiscaden

As I approach my second anniversary as Executive Director at Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC), I spend considerable effort urging businesses and consumers to recycle their mercury-filled thermostats.

Sometimes, my intensity in these endeavors and TRC’s broad marketing efforts might seem to diminish the issue of proportionality regarding mercury thermostats contribution to the environmental stream.

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Michigan, Goldilocks and Bears, Oh My!

Posted Dec 11, 2017 by Ryan Kiscaden

A few blogs ago, I wrote about a phenomenon at Thermostat Recycling Corp. which we call the Goldilocks Zone. This “zone” has little do with the discovery of new planets. In fact, it has nothing to do with the necessary elements for human life in galaxies. Instead, it is a relatively reliable source of criteria which indicates where mercury thermostats come back from generally. These products remain stubbornly in areas which share most to all of these commonalities. 

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The Search for Perfect Collection Data

Posted Nov 17, 2017 by Ryan Kiscaden

Recently, I read Brian Loftus’ September 2017 Data-Driven Newsletter.

Loftus, HARDI’s Market Research & Benchmarking analyst, made the general observation about the impact of weather on equipment sales. He was specifically referring to warm weather in August 2016, which saw higher sales of ducted air conditioners and ducted heat pumps when compared with August 2017. The culprit for the lower sales this year, he suggested, was an unusually warmer August the previous year.

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Thermostat

“Honey, Please Check the Thermostat”

Posted Sep 29, 2017 by Ryan Kiscaden

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Texas residents are bracing for another deluge: the sounds of reconstruction as the state begins to rebuild, on its way to a semblance of normalcy. And within this leviathan reconstruction effort lurks a significant hazardous waste issue that both consumers and contractors must address, and one about which my organization has a particular concern: the safe removal and disposal of mercury-filled thermostats.

 

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There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills… And Mercury in Them Thar Lakes!

Posted Aug 3, 2017

While many believe that mercury contamination resulted from the improper disposal of products such as mercury-containing thermostats, batteries, and light bulbs, its genesis is actually tied to an important time in America’s evolution.

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Seven Trade Associations Show Support for TRC by Signing a Coalition Letter Addressed to California

Seven Trade Associations Show Support for TRC by Signing a Coalition Letter Addressed to California

Posted Jun 12, 2017

On May 19th, the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) filed its Program Modification Plan for the Collection of Mercury-Containing Thermostats in California on behalf of 25, out of 31, thermostat manufacturers.

As the public comment period of the program modification plan (PMP) wound down, TRC reached out to trade associations aligned with its industry, asking them to sign onto a coalition letter to the department.

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Thanks to Public & Private Partnerships ELVS Has Left the Building

Posted May 10, 2017

It is interesting to view side-by-side the ELVS (top) collection track record with that of the TRC (bottom).

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They are quite alike. Both deal with mercury encased in a product that is used in a vehicle or a home. Both also deal with a product that is no longer manufactured with mercury. Both deal with end-of-life issues and collection rates for both are expected to decrease over time as older products are removed from commerce.

ELVS collections are tracking down as expected. While TRC collections have plateaued, there is no reason to believe that the TRC collections will not also track down. This is reassuring, but now is not the time to rest on one’s laurels.  The TRC is promoting its message more strongly now than ever before and is reaching out to still more audiences who might open undiscovered channels to unaccounted for mercury-containing thermostats. Our job is to stay vigilant and compliant and work together to get as many of them accounted for as soon as we can.

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Earth-day 04-18-17

Earth Day 2017: TRC Urges Consumers To Help Rid the Environment of Mercury Thermostats

Posted Apr 17, 2017 read more ...
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Free 4/19 Webinar Covers Mercury-Thermostat Recycling During the Spring Shoulder Season

Posted Apr 10, 2017

Learn what to do with discontinued mercury thermostats when doing spring maintainance upgrades.Free 4/19 PSI webinar featuring EPA expert, Tom Murray, addresses this and the safe collection of other mercury-containing products.

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Free 4/19 Webinar: Powering up the Safe Collection of Mercury Products

Posted Mar 23, 2017 read more ...
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TRC Opposes Connecticut’s HB 70657 To Keep Mercury Recycling as Effective as Possible

Posted Mar 9, 2017 read more ...
Mercury Thermostats: Turning Quicksilver Into Gold

Mercury Thermostats: Turning Quicksilver Into Gold

Posted Aug 11, 2016

One of the most commonly asked questions that the staff at Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) receive while conducting outreach is, “So what is it you guys do, exactly?”

To put that question to rest, today I’ll lay it out plain and simple: we do exactly what our company name says we do.

The Thermostat Recycling Corporation recycles mercury thermostats. Founded voluntarily in 1998 by Honeywell, White-Rodgers, and General Electric, TRC was established as a non-profit product stewardship organization with the goal of ensuring the toxic elemental mercury found in thermostat switches doesn’t end up back in the environment. This is accomplished mainly by distributing recycling bins to HVAC wholesale distributors, contractors, and local county recycling facilities around the country.

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Mississippi Queen

Mississippi Queen

Posted May 25, 2016

A blog from our talented summer intern, Queen Brown.

I checked Facebook earlier this morning and at the top of my newsfeed was a memory. I graduated from Ocean Springs High School in Ocean Springs, MS this same time four years ago. Wow! Four years ago, I was closing a chapter of my life to begin a new one to explore and chase my dreams.

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Inventors blog

A Brief History of Thermostats: The Inventors

Posted Jan 29, 2016

Thermostats are the ubiquitous overlord of humanity’s day-to-day comfort. Think about it - there is hardly an American citizen who does not own and operate a thermostat in their own home. And yet, few people think about this little piece of technology past the annoyance of the Office Manager stubbornly locking the A/C at a crisp 64 degrees.

Thermostat Recycling Corporation is here to help you out. No, not with your Office Manager, sorry. We deal with thermostats every single day, so we are here to discuss the history of our favorite little piece of technology. 

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Are You Smarter Than A Smart Thermostat?

Are You Smarter Than A Smart Thermostat?

Posted Nov 12, 2015

While the Thermostat Recycling Corporation is busy getting mercury thermostats properly recycled, homeowners are having a ball choosing the mercury thermostat’s successor. That’s right, thermostats are fun now. The latest trend in energy efficient home heating and cooling?

Smart thermostats.

Smart thermostats are a great replacement for your old mercury thermostat. It’s hard to argue with saving money, helping out the environment by engaging in home energy efficiency, and ushering your home into the future of climate control. TRC does not incur responsibility if your smart thermostat becomes more popular than you.

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A Simple Question to Help Keep Mercury out of Vermont’s Environment

A Simple Question to Help Keep Mercury out of Vermont’s Environment

Posted Oct 23, 2015

With fall’s arrival it’s likely your heating contractor will be at your home to service your furnace or boiler for an annual system maintenance check or as homeowners, you might be doing this same winter preparation yourself. 

 

If you think your thermostat may contain mercury, ask your heating technician. If it does, ask them to swap it out and properly recycle it.

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The Culture of Thermostats

The Culture of Thermostats

Posted Jun 11, 2015

A blog from our talented summer intern, Quincy Kittle:

Imagine a five-year old girl wearing an outfit with enough sparkles on it to blind incoming traffic, adorned with bright red lipstick, perched proudly on top of a horse. Welcome to horse showing culture, comparable to a beauty pageant on top of a horse. I’ve grown up completely immersed in this environment, always having horses at my home in Clinton, Michigan and horse showing ever since I had enough core strength to sit straight on a horse. Labeled the “horse girl” in my small hometown marked me as an expert on anything involved with horses, therefore it was assumed I would pursue an equine related career. In contrast to popular opinion, the horse is not the field I am studying, but instead I am learning about the culture behind horses, actually the culture of everything. I am pursuing a degree in Comparative Cultures and Politics along with minors in Spanish, and Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy at Michigan State University.

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A Simple Question to Help Keep Mercury out of Our Environment

A Simple Question to Help Keep Mercury out of Our Environment

Posted May 28, 2015

Are you aware that many thermostats manufactured prior to 2006 contain mercury? Are you aware that a mercury thermostat contains at least 1,000 times more mercury than today’s standard compact fluorescent light bulb?  Are you aware that mercury thermostats likely carry the majority of mercury found in homes today and yet thousands still end up in the trash each year?

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Traveling North to South

Traveling North to South

Posted May 20, 2015

If someone asked me what my life was like before college, I could sum it up in one word: sports. My father taught me to alpine ski at age two, I was riding a bike and playing soccer by five, and my parents took us kids all over the world to hike and horseback ride for as long as I can remember. All of these activities combined with my upbringing in the remote Upper Peninsula of Michigan resulted in a lot of outdoor time. Even now, that’s where I’m happiest – outdoors.

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Which HARDI members will recycle the most mercury thermostats?

Posted May 12, 2015

It’s that time of year again...the launch of our 4th annual Big Man on Planet competition! Three years ago, in partnership with HARDI (Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International), we launched “Big Man on Planet” in an effort to provide a fun competition among HARDI member distributors to see who could recycle the most mercury thermostats.  Last year’s competition results were amazing and our collection partners recovered more than 55,000 mercury thermostats!

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Spring Cleaning for your HVAC System

Spring Cleaning for your HVAC System

Posted Mar 20, 2015

Given the very cold and snowy winter that many parts of our country endured, it’s hard to believe that today is officially the first day of spring…but it’s finally here! This season brings in warmer weather, blossoming plants, longer days, and is also known for “Spring Cleaning.”  Don’t forget about your HVAC system as you start on your spring cleaning chores! Following the easy tips below will help your HVAC system smoothly transition into the new season.

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A Productive Year in the Books

A Productive Year in the Books

Posted Dec 19, 2014

As hard as it may be to believe, 2014 is about to come to an end and many businesses are already focusing on their 2015 initiatives. December tends to spark a bit of reflection about the past year’s accomplishments as we formulate goals or New Year resolutions for the next year, both in business and in our personal lives. This year as I reflect back on what TRC accomplished, I feel extremely proud. I have been with the organization for two years now, watching it grow, and 2014 was a pretty stellar year if I do say so myself.

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A Simple Question to Help Keep Mercury out of the Environment

A Simple Question to Help Keep Mercury out of the Environment

Posted Oct 21, 2014

Are you aware that many thermostats manufactured prior to 2006 contain mercury? Are you aware that a mercury thermostat contains at least 1,000 times more mercury than today’s standard compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL)?  Are you aware that mercury thermostats are likely the largest remaining reservoir of mercury in homes today, and thousands end up in the trash each year?   

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Tips to Promote Your Recycling Efforts

Posted Aug 15, 2014

If you participate in TRC’s program, either as a mercury thermostat collection location or as a person who recycles mercury thermostats, you’re doing a good deed and helping the environment. (And if you don’t participate yet, find out how you can here). However, are you making others aware of your recycling efforts? Your good need shouldn’t go unnoticed, especially if awareness can help motivate others to change their recycling behaviors as well. Below I offer a few tips on how to effectively (and cheaply) promote that you are a TRC collection point and a mercury thermostat recycler.

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Maintenance Agreements, or Whatever you Want to Call Them

Maintenance Agreements, or Whatever you Want to Call Them

Posted Jul 17, 2014 by Ryan Kiscaden

Service contracts, maintenance agreements, extended service plans.  Call these what you may but they are imperative to continuing a steady stream of income for your HVAC/r contracting business.  When times are slow, these little contracts keep your employees busy and continue top of mind activity with your customers.  A wise businessman once said, that it is easier to keep a customer than to acquire a new one.  These agreements are true and recession proof.

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Earn More Profit by Recovering Your Environmental Costs

Earn More Profit by Recovering Your Environmental Costs

Posted Jul 1, 2014 by Ryan Kiscaden

What would you do with extra profit?  Maybe take your spouse out to eat more, purchase those golf clubs you had been following on eBay, or save for your kid’s college?  This article explains how to upsell to homeowners the value that you provide as an expert in retrofitting homes that have products needing special disposal, such as refrigerant and mercury thermostats.  Believe it or not, that “quick-silver” gooey stuff that you used to play with in grade school can actually make you money.

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Energy Saving HVAC Summer Maintenance Tips

Energy Saving HVAC Summer Maintenance Tips

Posted Jun 17, 2014

It may be hard to believe after the harsh winter most of us experienced, but summer is finally here!  The shifting season also means extra work for your HVAC system because as the temperature rises, homeowners across the country are turning their air conditioning up to full blast.  The best time for HVAC maintenance is before the extreme temperatures hit, so I’ve compiled a few energy-saving tips to keep in mind.

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Who Will Be the Next Big Man on Planet?

Posted May 15, 2014

May 1st marked the official launch of our 3rd annual Big Man on Planet competition! Two years ago, in partnership with HARDI (Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International), we launched “Big Man on Planet” in an effort to provide some friendly competition among HARDI member distributors to see who could recycle the most mercury thermostats.  And it has been amazing to see the results of this competition and how it has grown.

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Marketing Your Business on a Budget

Marketing Your Business on a Budget

Posted Apr 23, 2014

These days there are so many different ways to market your business. For example, who knew just 10 years ago how popular and important social media would become? If you told my college self that one day Facebook would be used to enhance business brands, I would have thought you were crazy. But it’s true — and social media is just one of the great cost-effective ways to market your business.  Today’s blog focuses on a few ideas on how to use free or cost-effective tools to market your business.

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Thermostats

Reasons to Replace a Thermostat

Posted Mar 31, 2014

Sometimes I really can’t believe how advanced the HVAC world has become.  After attending HVAC trade shows for over a year now, I’ve seen so much new technology that I never would have dreamed would be possible.  I believe it was in the second Back to the Future movie, released about 25 years ago, where they flash to the year 2015 and a computer is essentially running their home and doing everything for them.  Well, they were pretty accurate. Minus the floating hover boards and flying cars, which I’m a little disappointed still hasn’t happened yet. 

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Be Green, Save Green

Posted Mar 13, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day is almost upon us!  This holiday may bring many things to mind: Irish soda bread, corn beef and cabbage, Guinness, and pinches for not wearing green.  However, today I’m going to focus on the GREEN aspect of St. Patrick ’s Day and offer a few ideas on how to be green and save green…aka, incorporating environmentally friendly tips into your daily life that will also help save you money.

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Meet Christyn Zehnder: From Lions to Thermostats

Posted Feb 27, 2014

The first ambition I ever had was to become a lion tamer when I grew up. No joke. Most children at the age of five eagerly state they want to be a ballerina, fireman, movie star, doctor or some other exciting profession that appeals to a small child. Not me. Relatives and friends would gather around me and ask what sound a lion makes. I would proudly respond by making a roaring sound and state that when I grew up I would become a lion tamer.

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New Year, New TRC

Posted Feb 19, 2014

If you’ve visited our website in the past you probably noticed that we recently gave it a makeover - and it’s more than just new pictures and a different color scheme! Our goal was to make the site more user-friendly to make it as easy as possible for visitors to find their nearest collection site, get updated on the newest laws and regulations, find free downloads to promote the program, and more!

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