Mercury Bounty Collection: A Public Awareness Initiative
The proper disposal of mercury is a matter of environmental safety. Once in the waste stream, products containing mercury can break, releasing the toxin into our environment and water supply.
Covanta believes that the best strategy for preventing the release of mercury and other toxins is by reducing their use in consumer products. In order to achieve this goal, Covanta is a sustaining partner of the Product Stewardship Institute, which actively supports legislation to eliminate the use of mercury in consumer products – or make manufacturers of such items responsible for their disposal.
In the absence of a nationwide initiative to reduce or manage mercury in consumer products, Covanta has led the charge. Since 2000, we have been conducting mercury awareness collection programs to inform people that mercury-bearing items – such as thermometers and thermostats – should not be discarded with other municipal solid waste. Originally started in Massachusetts, this public-facing program has expanded into a nationwide campaign with more than 3,000 pounds of mercury being diverted from the municipal waste stream.