New York Lawmakers Pass Mercury Thermostat Recycling Bill
By:  Jennifer Kalish

New York State lawmakers passed a bill that will require all manufacturers of mercury thermostats to develop and implement a thermostat collection program, according to a news release from the Product Stewardship Institute.

Under the legislation, all manufacturers must create thermostat collection programs in line with the program's established goal of collecting 15,500 thermostats by 2015, the report said. The bill also calls for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to establish annual collection goals thereafter, and to make necessary adjustments if manufacturers fail to meet them.

"Mercury is a neurotoxin that can cause birth defects and many other illnesses," said Andrew Radin, chairman of the New York Product Stewardship Council, in a statement. "This kind of extended producer responsibility legislation will lead to a healthier environment, and help protect our state's air, land, and water resources."

In addition to developing collection programs, manufacturers must create outreach and education programs for wholesalers, retailers, contractors and homeowners, the report said.

New York ranked 37 out of 47 states in per-capita thermostat collection rates for 2011, according to a recent report released by PSI and the Multi-State Mercury Products Campaign.

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