MARCH 2008

Homeowners paid to recycle thermostats

Maine homeowners can now receive $5 by recycling their old mercury thermostat, which cannot legally be disposed in household trash.

Under a program initiated under a new Maine law, thermostat manufacturers will provide pre-paid UPS mailing labels to any homeowner who requests them. The mailing labels allow consumers to ship thermostats to be recycled. In return, the manufacturer provides a payment of $5 for each thermostat received.

The program is operated by Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), an industry-funded non-profit that recycles mercury thermostats throughout the continental United States.

No special packaging is required to ship the thermostat, although TRC recommends that it be placed inside a zip-lock bag and shipped in a well-sealed box.

The TRC recycling facility is located in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Once the thermostat is received and processed, the TRC issues a check to the homeowner, which generally arrives within six weeks after the date of shipment. Payments are also provided to contractors who recycle thermostats through their local wholesale suppliers.

The TRC is funded by Honeywell, Emerson White-Rodgers, GE, and Nordyne, all of which sold mercury thermostats in the state of Maine when it was legal to do so.