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Mercury-Free Thermostat Act

Act No. 97 (HB 44), the Mercury-Free Thermostat Act, was signed into law on Oct. 9, 2008. The law requires manufacturers of mercury thermostats that have been sold in the state to establish and maintain a collection and recycling program for out-of-service mercury thermostats from wholesalers, contractors, retailers, service technicians and homeowners.

Highlights of Act 97, 2008 (House Bill 44):
  • Bans the sale, installation and disposal of mercury thermostats, effective Dec. 8, 2009.
  • Manufacturers must develop and implement a plan for collection and recycling of mercury thermostats by June 6, 2009.
  • Mandates wholesaler participation to act as collection points, effective Dec. 8, 2009.
  • Mandates that retailers and contractors participate as collection points -OR- provide notice to customers that recycling of mercury thermostats is required under Pennsylvania law and identify locations of nearby collection points, effective Dec. 8, 2009.
  • Annual report due from each manufacturer with an approved collection and recycling program, by June 1 annually. The report will document the number of thermostats collected and recycled, evaluate the effectiveness of the program, and list goals for the coming year.
  • Manufacturers and DEP are required to provide education and outreach on the proper management of mercury thermostats and other products containing mercury, including a list of approved collection sites.

The Goals of Pennsylvania’s program are:

  • To give every contractor and citizen a convenient opportunity to recycle all mercury thermostats;
  • For DEP to partner with the manufacturers to establish annual collection goals based on program performance, increasing the collection of mercury thermostats each year until 2015, or until the disposal of mercury thermostats no longer poses a threat to the Commonwealth;
  • To educate citizens of the Commonwealth on the importance of recycling their thermostats, and how it protects the environment; and
  • To acknowledge the TRC’s commitment to offering a collection and recycling program for mercury thermostats, and to recognize the existing program as an avenue for manufacturers to comply with the Pennsylvania law.

Recycling Thermostats:

Contact: Division of Hazardous Waste
                (717) 787-6239