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Mercury-Containing Thermostat Disposal


So you are ready to replace your current thermostat for an energy star programmable model – have you thought about the proper disposal of the old one?

Many thermostats used to control the room temperature in your home contain mercury. To identify, remove the front plate and you will see one or more small glass bulbs, known as tilt switches, which contain mercury. Each tilt switch contains roughly three grams of mercury, though some may hold as much as six grams. Mercury is very toxic and can leak out of a discarded thermostat to contaminate our air, water and soil. Consequently these old thermostats should never be disposed of in the trash or local landfill.

To assist home-owners with proper disposal of mercury-containing thermostats, a no-cost collection/recycling program is available to all Montana residents. To determine a drop-off location in your area, contact your local county sanitarian.

Thermostat Collection Program made possible by:

For more information, contact the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Business and Community Assistance Program at 1-800-433-8773.