PSI is currently focused on providing technical support to state officials and environmental groups seeking to create or implement EPR programs that mandate the collection of mercury thermostats. Simultaneously, PSI is working to expand the number of collection sites and thermostats collected in states that do not yet have a law by educating heating and cooling contractors and homeowners about the need to responsibly manage mercury thermostats and expanding the availability of recycling locations. PSI is currently focusing on improving collections in Massachusetts, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
In 2004, PSI developed a Background Summary Report that highlighted the problems, key issues, and potential solutions to managing thermostats, and held two stakeholder meetings in July and October 2004. The multi-stakeholder group reached agreement on multiple priority projects intended to increase the recycling of mercury thermostats and ban the sales of new mercury thermostats. The projects included and outreach to HVAC wholesalers, and HVAC contractors to increase the number of collection sites, testing the effectiveness of a financial incentive for contractors and homeowners, and testing collections at household hazardous waste facilities. PSI has demonstrated through a pilot project that a financial incentive provided to contractors could increase the number of mercury thermostats collected and recycled. In addition, PSI mediated the nation’s first comprehensive thermostat legislation in Maine, assisted the Maine Department of Environmental Protection on its consumer and contractor collection programs, and began a thermostat mail back pilot project. PSI also developed a comprehensive model state thermostat program. Performance goals and incentives are key components to the model program.
For more information, please contact Scott Cassel, at (617) 236-4822, or Scott@productstewardship.us
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