When you replace your old thermostat with a new smart thermostat, do not throw your old thermostat into the trash. They most likely contain mercury which is very harmful chemical to our body. When you throw your old thermostat into the trash, it gets crushed inside the garbage truck and burned at the incineration plant. The fumes carry the mercury to our water supply and to our fish. Our body has no way of throwing out the mercury from our system so we accumulate the mercury throughout our life. It’s even more dangerous for pregnant women or children. The negative effects of mercury are well documented. The amount of old thermostats ending up in trash bins increasing every day. Each old thermostat contains 4 grams of mercury, it might not sound much but when you factor in the fact that 100,000 old thermostats have been disposed of in a year, that’s 400 kilograms of mercury every year.
The amount of old thermostats ending up in trash bins increasing every day. Each old thermostat contains 4 grams of mercury, it might not sound much but when you factor in the fact that 100,000 old thermostats have been disposed of in a year only in California, that’s 400 kilograms of mercury every year for one State. Out of those 100,000 in 2014 only 22,178 of it was collected by thermostat makers. The numbers are even worst for the year 2015, only 10% of the old thermostat removed were collected by the industry. That means California’s, one of the nation’s most eco-conscious population, did not dispose of their mercury thermostat properly. California comes with a new solution to give a gift card worth $5 to $10 for every return at a Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility. We hope the other states follow the same incentive program.
The smart thermostat producers clearly failed to meet the requirements set by California and other states, furthermore, they look like they have no intention do anything about it. This is very puzzling when you factor in the fact that their consumers are eco-minded people and most of these products use the word eco somewhere in their product. We think the industry has to come up with new ideas to collect the old thermostat, they should make it easier for consumers to dispose of these old thermostats. For example, they can add a postage paid return box with the product with 5$-10$ rebate. If they can engineer a smart thermostat we are sure they can figure out a way to dispose of the mercury thermostats. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”
But in the end, like all other things in life, it all comes down to personal responsibility. You should be very concerned about mercury poisoning and the harm you can cause to yourself and your loved ones. Check out Thermostat Recycling Corporation to finding a location near you. Do the right thing and dispose your thermostat at an HHW facility.