Michigan Launches Mercury Waste Collection Program

The state of Michigan’s Environmental Quality Department is partnering with a specialized waste management and environmental services group called the Environmental Quality Company,  to offer free recycling of mercury to all businesses and residents in the state. Mercury is considered a hazardous and toxic chemical of must be disposed of in accordance with state and federal environmental regulations  Failure to dispose of mercury properly can not only endanger the soil and local waterways but can lead to substantial monetary fine and criminal prosecution.

Being promoted as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Mercury Collection Project, the mercury collection program will be available through the end of September, 2013 and is designed to provide an affordable and accessible solution to recycling mercury. For many, the easiest form of participation will be through specialized free of charge mailing containers available through Environmental Quality. Into these containers, businesses and individuals can place thermostats, gauges containing mercury, dental amalgam, thermometers and hydrometers. Many of these items are commonly found in medical and dental offices, auto repair and machine shops, and engineering and construction services. State officials hope this program will provide an inexpensive and easy way to safety discard of broken or unwanted equipment without posing any hazardous to the environment.

WasteCare Wants You to Remember: If you work with tools or equipment made with mercury, it’s essential that you follow the regulations for proper disposal of unwanted or usable equipment. Take a moment to call your local and state environmental protection office to see if they offer a program like Michigan’s – and if they don’t, ask them why they aren’t!