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
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Acclaimed illusionist & escape artist Harry Houdini, performing in Montreal in 1926, is sucker-punched by a McGill University student. Houdini doesn't know he has peritonitis - the punches are possible factor in his Oct. 31 death.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Police Chief James Baker to resign from the force at the end of the year to take a job in Washington, D.C., jury remains out in teacher killing murder trial, Rec Dept. releases report on what's wrong with White's Pool.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Well diggers in Cardiff, New York, find what is thought to be the petrified body of a 10-foot-tall man, perfectly preserved after thousands of years, which becomes a popular roadside attraction until proven to be a fake.
- Pittsford Haunted House
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1720, 'Calico Jack' Rackham, Caribbean pirate and early feminist, known for recruiting women to his crew and for fabric decorating skills after creating 'Jolly Roger' flag, is captured by the British Royal Navy.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1307, King Phillip the Fair of France orders hundreds of Knights Templar rounded up and arrested, charged with heresy, tortured until they confess; on this day in 1917, thousands see miracle of Our Lady of Fatima.