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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE:
November 30, 2010
CONTACT: Paul Lockwood, (603) 271-2956

DES Releases Draft Report on the Collection of Mercury-Added Thermostats

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) announced today the release of the draft report on the progress of the collection and recycling of mercury-added thermostats. The collection and recycling or proper disposal of out-of-service mercury-added thermostats was mandated by law in 2008. To help accomplish this, the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC), an organization created and funded by thermostat manufacturers, established a thermostat recycling infrastructure.

DES was charged with reviewing and approving manufacturer collection of thermostats and believes it is reasonable to expect that the number of thermostats collected should at least be consistent with other states that have adopted thermostat recycling legislation. However, at a recovery of less than 1 thermostat per 1,000 residents, New Hampshire currently has the lowestcollection rate of any comparable state. DES believes a doubling of New Hampshire’s present recycling rate of 0.6 thermostats per 1,000 residents is achievable and has recommended that goal, in the report.

To increase the numbers of thermostats collected annually, DES recommends that:

1) TRC’s outreach and education plan be more aggressive. TRC and DES should develop, continue or increase outreach and education strategies focusing on wholesalers, contractors, retailers, residents, municipalities and other stakeholders, as appropriate.

2) DES should continue to monitor and participate in national efforts to develop a more accurate thermostat recycling methodology and apply that methodology as appropriate.

3) Based on the results of 2010-2011 collection data, DES consider proposing changes to the thermostat recycling program, including possible legislative recommendations, prior to the 2012 legislative session.

DES will accept public comment on the plan through December 14, 2010. The draft report on the collection of mercury-added thermostats can be accessed at http://des.nh.gov/ under What’s New or call (603) 271-2956 or e-mail paul.lockwood@des.nh.gov to request a copy or provide comments.

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