Effective July 1, California’s New Regulations for Disposing of Mercury Thermostats


UPDATE: New 2014 Goals For Recycling Old Mercury Thermostats

On May 15, 2013, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (CDTSC) adopted new regulations as the final part of the Mercury Thermostat Collection Act of 2008. The new regulations apply to (a) manufacturers, as described in tit. 22, C.C.R. § 66274.3; (b) HVAC contractors, as described in tit. 22, C.C.R. § 66274.3; and (c) demolition contractors, as described in tit. 22, C.C.R. § 66274.3.

The CDTSC estimates that 10 million mercury thermostats are still in California homes and businesses. Since January 1, 2006, California law has banned the sale of mercury-added thermostats for most uses.

Among other things, the regulations establish annual performance goals for the collection of mercury-containing thermostats and a methodology for calculating the number of such thermostats that become waste annually. They also require manufacturers to collect and recycle more than 32,500 mercury thermostats in the second half of 2013, or 30 percent of the estimated number of the devices that become waste. Recycling goals will increase for the next five years. They also establish identification requirements for persons delivering thermostats to collection centers and annual reporting requirements for thermostat manufacturers. For more information, click here.

Thermostat Recycling Corporation, a nonprofit, industry-funded entity, operates roughly 350 collection sites in California that accept and recycle these thermostats. To find a location, click here.