California Passes Thermostat Recycling Legislation

California has passed legislation forcing thermostat manufacturers and brand owners to establish collection and recycling programs for mercury-added thermostats. The law, effective in January 2009, requires collection and recycling efforts to begin by July 2009.

“Having the producers fund and manage the collection system is in line with the overall framework for an Extended Producer Responsibly system adopted by the California Integrated Waste Management Board in January 2008 and the recommendation of the Green Chemistry Report from the University of California Centers for Occupational and Environmental Health,” said Hiedi Sanborn, executive director of the California Product Stewardship Council, in a press release.

The new law, A.B. 2347, also requires manufacturers and brand owners to conduct outreach efforts to educate the public about the dangers posed by mercury-added thermostats. It also calls for them to develop a survey for state contractors to find out how many mercury-added thermostats are still being used. In 2006, the state banned the sale of mercury-added thermostats.