Most of the older thermostats are inefficient and contain mercury which is a dangerous toxic heavy metal. Switching to newer and more energy efficient programmable thermostats and responsibly disposing of older mercury-containing thermostats reduces energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and prevents mercury from contaminating our air, soil, and water.
How do I go green?
It’s pretty hard to reduce the use of thermostats; however we can switch to energy efficient programmable thermostats and recycle the old ones.
Thermostats are only candidates for reuse if they are the newer energy efficient programmable ones.
Thermostats are considered hazardous waste due to the mercury content. Switch the 'Stat is a residential and commercial thermostat recycling program currently running in Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba.
Administered by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), and supported by the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), the Switch the 'Stat program works with heating and cooling contractors and wholesalers to encourage the installation of energy efficient programmable thermostats, while simultaneously diverting the older mercury containing and electronic thermostats from landfill.
Thermostats can be dropped off at no charge as household hazardous waste at the Hartland Landfill Recycling Facility in small residential quantities. Check the listings below or go to Switch the 'Stat public drop off locations for additional drop off locations. If you have a commercial amount, please call the drop off facility ahead of time to be sure they can accomodate you. Alternately you may contact Switch the 'Stat directly to receive a free shipping box for larger quantities.
Alpine Disposal & Recycling
1045 Dunford Avenue
Hartland Recycling Facility
# 1 Hartland Avenue
The Environmental Story
Thermostats contain mercury. Mercury is a bio accumulative, persistent, and toxic heavy metal that threatens the health of humans and our ecosystem.
Older mechanical thermostats can have 1 to 4 mercury switches, each containing approximately 2.5 grams of mercury. Just one gram of mercury can contaminate an eight hectare lake to the point where the fish in that lake are not edible for one full year. In an effort to mitigate the impacts of mercury pollution, mercury-laden fish consumption warnings are now issued for 90% of lakes in Ontario, Eastern Canada, the Northeastern United States, and the U.S. Midwest.
Did You Know?
Mercury exposure can be highly toxic to the nervous system and kidneys – producing symptoms such as anxiety and depression – and may also affect memory, thinking, and nerve function with possible tremors and reduced coordination. Pregnant women and women of childbearing years need to be especially careful since some studies have shown that when women have higher levels of methylmercury exposure from eating marine mammals, their children have been found to have lower intelligence scores, delayed verbal and motor skills, impaired hearing, and poor coordination. The United Nations estimates that mercury toxicity has caused learning disabilities and impaired the nervous system of millions of children worldwide.
Questions? Call the CRD Hotline.
We can answer your questions on the Hartland landfill, composting, household hazardous waste, recycling and more!
toll-free: 1.800.663.4425 #3030
Don't abandon your better judgement.
A little junk in the trunk is a good thing. Want to learn about our campaign and what you can do to help?