How can I dispose of items that contain mercury?
Visit http://www.epa.gov/mercury/mgmt_options.html to view a list of consumer products that contain mercury - including automotive parts, medical and pharmaceutical products, and commercial products - and to learn how to dispose of them.
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 allows you to search for recycling and disposal options using your zip code or address, city and state: http://search.earth911.com/
- For information on recycling compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and other mercury-containing bulbs, see visit: http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/recycling-and-disposal-after-cfl-burns-out
Resources for business and industry
Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, some widely generated hazardous wastes, including mercury-containing wastes like certain spent batteries, thermostats, barometers, manometers, temperature and pressure gauges, certain switches and light bulbs, 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. Find more information about universal wastes and the RCRA regulations that apply to them at http://www.epa.gov/osw/hazard/wastetypes/universal/index.htm .
Note that some states and local jurisdictions have elected to pass regulations that are more stringent than the federal hazardous waste regulations. Several states and municipalities 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.
External Links Disclaimer: Please be aware that links to non-EPA sites do not imply any official EPA endorsement. Furthermore, EPA does not accept any responsibility for the opinions, ideas, data or products presented at those locations, or guarantee the validity of the information provided. EPA does not guarantee the suitability of the information for any specific purpose.
- About EPA
- Chemicals and Toxics
- Climate Change
- Data, Methods, and Models
- Emergencies and Natural Disasters
- Greener Living
- Health and Safety
- Land and Cleanup
- Laws and Regulations
- Topic #: 23002-23489
- Date Created: 1/19/2005
- Last Modified Since: 2/25/2015
- Viewed: 4054