Allan Gerlat, News Editor

December 23, 2013

1 Min Read
New York Adopts Mercury Thermostat Producer Responsibility Law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a producer responsibility law for the collection of mercury thermostats.

The Mercury Thermostat Collection Act requires that manufacturers develop and implement a thermostat collection program that meets a pre-established goal of collecting 15,500 thermostats by 2015, according to a news release from the Boston-based Product Stewardship Institute.

The law also calls for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to establish annual collection goals thereafter and to make changes to the program if manufacturers fail to meet the goals. That includes requiring manufacturers to pay financial incentives to those returning old thermostats to encourage greater participation.

The law also requires that manufacturers develop an outreach and education program for wholesalers, retailers, contractors and homeowners.

"This law addresses several obstacles that prevent the current voluntary collection system from achieving substantial results – namely, the lack of aggressive performance goals and financial incentives," says Scott Cassel, PSI CEO. "We hope that, with the new system of checks and balances, collection rates in New York will improve as they have following the passage of thermostat stewardship laws in Maine and Vermont."

 The Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC), the manufacturer-led non-profit organization for collecting and disposing of mercury thermostats, collects only 1 percent of the estimated 310,000 mercury thermostats taken out of service annually. As a result, more than one ton of mercury enters the state's waste stream and environment each year.


About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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