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Pennsylvania and California Pass Comprehensive Thermostat Recycling Laws

October 26, 2008

Source: Product Stewardship Institute

California and Pennsylvania recently joined four other states in passing comprehensive laws enforcing the proper collection and recycling of mercury-containing thermostats. These new state laws are based on model state legislation developed by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) with input from thermostat manufacturers, heating and cooling contractors and wholesalers, retailers, environmental groups, and government officials. PSI’s model shares responsibility for safe thermostat recycling among all these groups and provides a menu of options from which states can choose.

Most manufacturers no longer produce mercury-containing thermostats, so the problem lies predominantly in the collection of mercury thermostats removed from homes and offices. PSI is helping states develop a common methodology to set baselines for thermostat recovery and to measure progress. Maine and Vermont include performance goals for thermostat recycling in their laws, as well as financial incentives for contractors and homeowners to encourage recycling. California and Iowa's thermostat laws require their state environmental agencies to develop the performance goals. All six states tout the energy-saving benefits of digital thermostats. PSI is advising additional states on how to adapt the PSI model program for their own unique circumstances, with an eventual goal of federal legislation.

Read the full Product Stewardship Institute press release

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