Frequent Questions

How can I dispose of items that contain mercury?

Many states and local agencies have developed collection/exchange programs for mercury-containing devices such as thermometers, manometers, and thermostats. Some counties and cities also have household hazardous waste collection programs.  For information about these programs, contact your local officials to find out when and where a collection will be held in your area.

  • Earth911.com Exit allows you to search for recycling and disposal options using your zip code or address, city and state.

Resources for business and industry

  • Universal Wastes: Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, some widely generated hazardous wastes, including certain mercury-containing wastes, are designated as "universal wastes".  Businesses and industries that qualify as universal waste handlers must follow specific requirements for storing, transporting and disposing of these wastes. Households are exempt from these regulations.
  • Always check state-specific regulations: Some states and local jurisdictions have more stringent hazardous waste regulations. Several do not recognize the exemption for households; others regulate all fluorescent bulbs as hazardous, regardless of their mercury content. For example, Vermont bans all mercury-containing waste from landfills, including mercury-containing waste generated by households. 
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