Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
Promoting Pollution Prevention Through Information Exchange

GLRPPR Sector Resource: Household Appliance Mercury Switch Removal Manual

Household Appliance Mercury Switch Removal Manual

Many household appliances, which are currently being collected for their scrap metal value, contain mercury switchesand thermocouples. Mercury was used in household appliances because it is a highly reliable means for electrical switching in varied temperature and moisture condition. When household appliances or "white goods" are processed for scrap metal, mercury may be released to the environment. The mercury may be released through smokestack emissions at smelters, incinerators or through landfill leachate from intact products or ash from their incineration. The purpose of this manual is to address the removal of mercury switches and thermocouples prior to appliances being processed for their scrap metal. The following appliances are covered: chest freezers, washing machines, gas ranges, gas hot-water heaters, sump and bilge pumps. The manual also includes information on regulations, mercury handling, storage and disposal, and spill clean-up. The entire manual may be downloaded in PDF format at the URL below (file size is 1.4 Mb, length in pages: 37)


Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
Spring 2002

Associated Sectors:

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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