TRC News

Rhode Island Mercury Thermostat Law Goes Into Effect February 1

Posted Nov 19, 2010

A new Rhode Island law designed to increase the collection and recycling of waste mercury thermostats goes into effect February 1, 2011. The law requires all HVAC wholesaler distributors with facilities in Rhode Island to act as a collection point for waste mercury thermostats. The law also mandates that HVAC contractors to recycle all mercury thermostats they remove from service by either directly participating in the collection program or by bringing the waste thermostats to local collection points. The Rhode Island law follows similar legislation in California, Iowa, Illinois, Montana, and Pennsylvania.

Under the new law, manufacturers must collect and recycle waste mercury thermostats at no cost to contractors and home-owners.

The Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) is providing collection containers to HVAC wholesale distributors and eligible contractors for a nominal one-time fee. TRC absorbs all subsequent costs to ship and recycle waste mercury thermostats.

“TRC wants contractors to know that it’s easy, convenient, and most importantly free for them to properly dispose of mercury thermostats,” said Mark Tibbetts, TRC’s executive director. “To comply with the law, all HVAC contractors need to do is to hang onto the mercury thermostats they remove from service and drop them off for recycling at their local HVAC supply house.”

TRC is a not-for-profit corporation founded in 1997 by thermostat manufacturers to collect and properly dispose of mercury thermostats removed from service. TRC provides HVAC contractors and consumers with a no-cost solution for properly disposing mercury-switch thermostats. Nationally, TRC has more than 3,000 collection containers in 48 states. TRC currently represents nearly 30 manufacturers that branded and distributed mercury-switch thermostats in the United States and has recovered over one million thermostats to date.