Michigan implements mercury switch recovery program
Washington— The Alliance
of Automobile Manufacturers has joined with the Michigan Department
of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to launch a statewide mercury
switch collection program for end-of-life vehicles. The purpose
of the program is to collect and recycle mercury-containing switches
found in old automobiles to ensure they are safely removed before
vehicles are shredded, crushed, or smelted; preventing the mercury
from being released to the environment.
The voluntary program will assist
motor vehicle recyclers in removing mercury containing switches,
generally found in convenience lights and ABS braking systems,
by providing them with supplies and easy to understand removal
procedures. On average, many of these switch assemblies can be
removed in as little as 48 seconds.
As part of this program, the
Alliance has and continues to work with the Michigan DEQ and program
participants to develop, produce, and distribute educational materials
to motor vehicle recyclers. The training video, titled “The
48 Second Solution,” can be viewed at http://www.michigan.gov/deqmecuryp2.
This material will cover all
aspects of the program including location and removal procedures
for mercury convenience light switches and ABS sensors. Additionally,
the Alliance is providing funding for supplies and transportation
to the MDEQ designated disposal/recycling sites.
Once the program is completed,
the Alliance and the DEQ will participate in a joint evaluation
of the project including an assessment of the reliability and
accuracy of reported switch recovery efforts. The initial phase
of the program is expected to run through September 2006.