Joyce Backs Bills Providing Safe Disposal of Mercury
Legislation regulates disposal and recycling of thermostats; promotes environmental health

BOSTON – Senator Brian A. Joyce recently joined his Senate colleagues in unanimously passing legislation requiring mercury thermostat manufacturers to make collection containers available to wholesalers, retailers and local municipalities to properly dispose of older thermostats that can contribute to waterway pollution if disposed of incorrectly. Manufacturers could charge a one-time $25 fee for containers and agreed to the language in the bill.

“I’m happy the Senate was able to pass legislation that promotes environmental stewardship and brings together the business and environmental communities to craft legislation all parties are comfortable with,” said Joyce. “Mercury is a poison that severely affects the nervous system development of young children. This bill will restrict this dangerous toxin from continuing to enter our landfills and waterways.”

Disposal of mercury thermostats in any manner other than recycling or proper hazardous waste disposal would be prohibited under the bill. It also requires thermostat manufacturers from 2015 through 2018 to do outreach and education around mercury recycling. The legislation will now go to the House for consideration.