TRC Program FAQs


Q. What is the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC)?
A. TRC is a non-profit corporation voluntarily founded by thermostat manufacturers for the purpose of promoting and facilitating the collection and proper disposal of mercury thermostats. TRC now represents 31 manufacturers that historically distributed mercury-containing thermostats in the US.
Q. What is the purpose of the program?
A. The goal of the program is to recycle all mercury-containing thermostats that are taken out of use.
Q. I'm an HVAC contracting business. Can I direct ship waste mercury thermostats to TRC?
A. Yes, HVAC contracting businesses with seven (7) or more technicians or those that serve rural communities are eligible to participate in the program. Use TRC's "Contractor" order form to sign your business up today.
Q. Where do I drop-off mercury-containing thermostats?
A. There are over 3,400 collection locations in 47 states and the number keeps growing. You can search the list of TRC locations on this site. If you live in any of the following states: CA, CT, IA, IL, ME, MT, NH, NY, PA, RI, or VT, all HVAC wholesalers are required to collect mercury thermostats at no cost. In all other states, participation as a collection site is voluntary. If your HVAC wholesaler, thermostat retailer or local hazardous waste program isn’t participating, ask them to start now.
Q. Who’s eligible to participate as a collection location?
A. Heating and air conditioning (HVAC) wholesale distributors; retailers who sell thermostats in the continental U.S.; and any approved municipal/county HHW, waste, solid waste or universal waste location. HVAC contracting businesses with more than seven technicians or serving rural communities can also participate as collection locations.
Q. What thermostats can be recycled?
A. The program accepts all brands of wall-mount mercury-containing thermostats. The thermostat must be whole and not leaking. TRC no longer requires the thermostat cover. Examples of mercury containing thermostats can be found here. TRC does not collect other mercury-containing product.
Q. Then who pays for the program?
A. Manufacturers that historically branded and sold mercury thermostats in the U.S. fund the program through annual participation fees. TRC assesses fees on a proportional basis based on the prior year’s collections of member-branded thermostats.
Q. What does it cost?
A. Outside of a reasonable one-time $25 per container participation fee, with the exception of New York and select California locations where there is no charge for a container, TRC assumes all recurring costs to ship and process mercury-containing thermostats collected through the program. TRC charges absolutely no fees for contractors or homeowners to discard thermostats in TRC recycling containers.
Q. What should I do?
A. Whenever you replace a mercury-containing thermostat, keep the old one and return it to a participating TRC collection site.
Q. Where can I recycle a thermostat if I'm living in Canada?
A. Thermostat Recovery Program (TRP) is Canada's thermostat recycling program and is currently active across the country. Please visit TRP for more information.