Mercury Auto Switches - Illinois EPA and the Product Stewardship Institute

Illinois Mercury Reduction Pilot Project - Auto Switches

Mercury Auto Switches - Illinois EPA and the Product Stewardship Institute

Many pre-model year 2003 vehicles used mercury switches for hood and trunk lighting, anti-lock brake system (ABS) sensors, and airbag crash sensors. As of September 1, 2008, hood and trunk light switches must be removed before the vehicle is recycled. 

Under Illinois law, auto recyclers are entitled to receive $2 for each mercury switch from hood and trunk lighting and anti-lock braking systems sent in for recycling through End of Life Vehicle Solutions (ELVS), an auto industry-funded program.  ELVS also provides a collection bucket for free and covers the cost of shipping and recycling the switches.

Additional Cash Incentives

From May 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014, the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), in collaboration with Illinois EPA and with funding from U.S. EPA, conducted a special pilot program to offer additional incentives to increase mercury switch collection in Illinois.  By participating in this program, auto recyclers were able to receive:

  • A $4 incentive for each mercury switch from anti-lock braking systems and airbag crash sensors.
  • A $2 incentive for each mercury switch from convenience lighting recycled through ELVS between November 1, 2013 and April 30, 2014. 
  • A $100 “first bucket bonus” for vehicle recyclers who had not sent in a mercury switch collection bucket since September of 2011. This applied only to the first bucket returned containing 20 or more switches.

While this incentive program has now ended, auto recyclers will still receive a $2 incentive for each mercury auto switch from convenience lighting and ABS sensors recycled through ELVS, as required by Illinois law. For more information about which vehicles contain mercury switches or to request a collection bucket, please visit  


Additional Resources

List of vehicles containing mercury convenience light switches

List of vehicles containing mercury ABS sensors

List of vehicles containg mercury airbag sensors


Contact PSI

Product Stewardship Institute
29 Stanhope Street
Boston, MA 02116

Phone: 617-236-4855

For information specific to the Illinois Mercury Switch Removal Act, please contact Becky Jayne at (217) 524-9642 or