As of May 1, 2008 the Mercury Management Act prohibits
the disposal of mercury products in the trash.
The following products must be recycled as of this date:
- Green cap flourescent lamps and compact flourescent lamps (CFLs)
- Electronic devices with screens that are backlit using a flourescent lamp, such as:
Flat panel computer monitors
Flat panel TVs
Hanheld gaming devices
Portable DVD players
- Some appliances/white goods such as:
Gas ovens with mercury thermocouple
Chest freezers with tilt switches in lid
- Toys and accessories containing button cell batteries that are not designed to be removed by the user/parent.
Why is it important to keep mercury out of the trash?
Mercury is a toxic metal. When products containing mercury are discarded at the end of their useful lives, the mercury is released into the air when products break. Solid waste disposal facilities (e.g., trash incinerators, landfills), manufacturing facilities that use mercury in their production processes, and coal-fired power plants can also release mercury into the air. Airborne mercury is deposited on land as well as in lakes and ponds, where it can be eaten by fish and, in turn, by people and wildlife. Mercury that is discharged in wastewater ends up in sewage sludge, which is either burned in an incinerator or applied to land as a soil amendment. In both cases, rain can wash mercury into lakes, ponds, and streams.
For a list of collection stations and for more information, visit MassDEP's mercury web page:: www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/stypes/hgres.htm#dispose