Mercury Reduction

Mercury containing products should be disposed of properly.  Small amounts of Mercury can do significant damages.  Both short term and long term exposure can cause serious health effects to humans and wildlife.  The Manitowoc County Recycling Center offers free mercury collection from residents.Mercury thermometer

Mercury Drop-off Sites 
  • Manitowoc County Recycling Center, 3000 Basswood Road, Manitowoc, 920-683-4333, Monday - Friday 7am - 4pm.
  • City of Manitowoc Wastewater Treatment Facility, 1015 South Lakeview Drive, Manitowoc, 920-683-4515, Monday - Friday 8am-4pm.
  • City of Two Rivers Wastewater Treatment Facility, 1415 Lake Street, Two Rivers, 920-793-5558, Monday - Friday 7am-3pm.
Guidelines
  • When transporting mercury, cushion the item and place it in a sealed container.
  • Mercury fever thermometers can be exchanged for a digital thermometer, there is a one per household limit while supplies last.
  • Do not open or damage mercury containing items.
Accepted Items
  • Thermometers
  • Thermostats
  • Mercury switches
  • Manometers
  • Barometers
  • Blood pressure monitors
  • Bulk mercury
Mercury Collection Flyer
Background

Both short term and long term exposure to mercury can cause serious health problems for humans and wildlife.  Mercury affects the nervous system and can impair the way we hear, talk, see, walk, feel and think.  Humans are exposed to mercury through contaminated air, water, food, or directly through the skin.  Very small amounts of mercury can do significant damage.  One gram of mercury is enough to contaminate all the fish in a lake with a surface area of 20 acres.  A typical mercury thermometer contains approximately 0.7 grams of mercury (700 milligrams), but larger thermometers can contain as much as three grams.

Improvements in heating system controls have rendered mercury thermostats inadequate.  Newer programmable thermostats can save money on heating and cooling costs.  When upgrading your heating system be sure to properly dispose of the old mercury thermostat.  Tossing these old thermostats, or any other mercury containing device, into the garbage will contribute to mercury contamination.  Each thermostat can contain up to 3 grams of mercury in a sealed glass bulb called an ampoule.  If this bulb is broken the mercury will spill out.    

Common sources of mercury, like thermostats, thermometers, light bulbs and electronics have no place in our landfills and should be properly recycled. 

This recycling opportunity is a partnership between the Manitowoc County Recycling Center, the City of Manitowoc Wastewater Treatment Facility, the City of Two Rivers Wastewater Treatment Facility, Manitowoc County UW-Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.