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 InTODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Scientists call for more research on the temporal and lasting effects of nuclear fallout on plants and animals in proximity to Japan's Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power station where changes at the molecular level were found. 0Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 410 CE, Visigoths sack Rome and it isn't the first time, either; in 1859, Titusville, Pa., the first commercially viable oil well comes in; in 1918, the only World War I battle fought on U.S. soil in Nogales, Ariz.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Archaelogists uncover artifacts proving that late neolithic Egyptians, pre-dating the Pyramids of Giza, practiced mummification to prepare their dead for the afterlife, far earlier than presupposed.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE:Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing that pollute ground water and the air we breathe come under scrutiny by researchers who find at least eight fracking chemicals toxic to mammals.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: The craze for Omega-3 fatty acids as a dietary supplement in its most popular form, fish oil, has led to depletion of fish stocks in oceans throughout the world. Is this the beginning of the total collapse of global fisheries?
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Suspects arrested in Killington bear death, Bryanna Allen and Kevin O'Connor report along the Back to School front, Rutland Plywood site remains an active fire scene as debris continues to smolder.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Forests around Chernobyl, even though dead from massive irradiation after nuclear accident 30 years ago, still have not even begun to decompose, natural balance disrupted at microbial level.