The Maine House of Representatives and Senate have approved a bill that would require manufacturers to establish the infrastructure necessary to collect and recycle unwanted thermostats, according to an Associated Press report. The goal of the bill is to limit the dissemination of mercury into the environment. The measure now awaits the signature of Maine Governor John Baldacci.
In January, Maine banned the sale of new mercury-based thermostats. It is hoped this new law, in conjunction with state-offered financial incentives, will prevent the estimated 5,600 pounds of mercury in use in current thermostats from winding up in landfills.