Vt. tops nation in removing mercury thermostatsThe Associated Press | April 07,2013MONTPELIER — A new report by a group working to get mercury out of the environment says Vermont leads the nation in efforts to collect mercury thermostats and keep them out of the waste stream.
The Mercury Policy Project and Vermont Public Interest Research Group joined in releasing figures showing that Vermont and Maine are the nation’s leaders because they require manufacturers to pay $5 to contractors and homeowners who return mercury-added thermostats, resulting in significantly higher collection rates.
“It’s clear that a financial incentive, coupled with good education and outreach, has resulted in Vermont having one of the highest per-capita thermostat collection rates in the country,” said Michael Bender, director of the international Mercury Policy Project.
Vermont’s mercury thermostat bounty program started in 2009, with 53 participating plumbing and heating wholesalers, 74 hardware stores, and 19 municipal waste-collection locations.
Collections jumped after Vermont’s bounty went into effect, and the state rose to first in the nation for collection in 2011.
In the first year of the program, 1,890 thermostats were turned in, the Burlington Free Press reported. In the following two years, more than 3,300 were collected.
Preliminary numbers suggest about 3,200 were collected in 2012, said Gary Gulka of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.
“We certainly believe that the cash incentive has had an impact,” Gulka said.
The biggest thermostat manufacturers discontinued making thermostats containing mercury in 2010. Many homeowners still have functioning mercury thermostats that can last 20 years or longer, Bender said.MORE IN This Just In
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Patrick McArdle reports and the theft of an $89,000 shotgun, police release a video of the Monday Castleton robbery, O'Gorman reports a lawsuit by a local man claiming his vehicle unlawfully seized, police leave him in cold.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Giles Corey of Salem, Mass., is pressed to death during the Salem witch trials; on this day in 1952, film comedian Charlie Chaplin, while traveling to England, is denied re-entry into the United States by U.S. attorney general.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Dutch father of microbiology Antonie van Leeuwenhoek discovers the existence of one-celled organisms; in 1967, The Doors are booked to play the Ed Sullivan show; in 1858, freedom fighter Dred Scott dies on this day in St. Louis.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: No money this year for western rail project, Lola Aiken memorialized in Montpelier, Supreme Court Castleton murder suspect will remain in jail, Shaftbury man fires shots from his AK-47 into neighbor's home.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1959, Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev arrives in U.S. for historic 13-day visit; in 1987, Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze sign nuclear reduction agreement.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City celebrates completion of its newest mural, on West Street opposite the post office, more than $2 million in federal grants will bolster Vermont's health centers, Patrick McArdle reports on pending sale of Vermont papers.