Mismanaged mercury can be toxic and under certain circumstances can have detrimental effects on the nervous system as well as the environment. Removing mercury thermometers and thermostats from the trash or the sanitary sewers is of considerable benefit to the environment.

How can you tell if your thermometer or thermostat contains mercury?

Mercury thermometers have SILVER, METALLIC GREY or BLACK filling in their bulbs. Any other color filling indicates it is a non-mercury thermometer and it may be thrown in the trash at the end of its life.

Mercury thermostats have dials or levers that you need to manually adjust. If you take their faceplate off and see one or more sealed glass capsules containing a silver substance, you have a mercury thermostat.

If you have mercury thermometers gather them along with other household toxics and make an appointment for OCRRA’s free Household Hazardous Waste drop off program.

If you have mercury thermostats, find a list of locations that accept mercury THERMOSTATS in the community.

If you have a broken thermometer or other mercury containing device, follow these steps:

  1. Place all parts in an airtight container and seal it.
  2. Make an appointment for OCRRA’s Household Hazardous Waste Drop Off Program.
  3. Maximize your appointment by bringing other household toxics to your appointment drop off too.