A fast, easy and safe way to dispose of your thermostat

A fast, easy and safe way to dispose of your thermostat

If you’re like most responsible Canadians, you probably recycle your paper and compost your kitchen scraps. But when it comes to disposing of your electronic or mechanical mercury-based thermostat, chances are you’re tempted to chuck it out with the rest of the regular garbage. In fact, you may not even realize that the mechanical thermostat hanging on your wall even has mercury.

In all likelihood it does, and that mercury will do untold damage to the environment once it’s in the landfill. So stop and consider the alternative: recycle your old thermostat through a dedicated program called the Thermostat Recovery Program (TRP).

Older mechanical thermostats can have as many as four mercury switches with 2.5 grams of mercury in each. To put that into perspective: just one gram of mercury can contaminate an eight-hectare lake to the point where its fish are not edible for an entire year. The mercury can go up the food chain and threaten young and unborn children, inhibiting the development of their brain and nervous system. 

Available in most provinces across Canada, the TRP has been providing a safe alternative for thermostat disposal since 2006. As a homeowner, you simply contact a TRP contractor closest to you or find a drop-off location in your area. The contractor or collection point then takes the gadget off your hands and passes it on to a licensed facility for recycling. Participating contractors and drop-off facilities can be found by clicking on these links: 

Public Drop off Locations 
TRP Contractors   

The TRP has been hugely successful to date; it’s already destroyed over 134,000 electronic and mercury thermostats and more than 500 kilograms of mercury! As Canadians switch over to newer, programmable thermostats, more thermostats are expected to go through the program in the coming years.

It’s safe to say that nobody wants mercury contaminating our landfills, lakes, or forests. With TRP, you can do your bit to make sure it doesn’t end up there; as well as ensuring the other thermostat components such as the plastics and metals are recycled responsibly. 

The Thermostat Recovery Program (TRP) is administered by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and supported by the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH). It also works together with HVAC and plumbing contractors and wholesalers, as well as municipalities and regional districts.

To find a qualified contractor, visit the HRAI Contractor Locator or call the hotline at 1-877-467-4724

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