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The Thermostat Recycling Corporation: Experiences and Lessons Section 7: Collection Programs Ric Erdheim TRC Executive Director May 2, 2002.

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Presentation on theme: "The Thermostat Recycling Corporation: Experiences and Lessons Section 7: Collection Programs Ric Erdheim TRC Executive Director May 2, 2002."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation: Experiences and Lessons Section 7: Collection Programs Ric Erdheim TRC Executive Director May 2, 2002

2 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation WHY? Concern about spent product disposal 2.8 grams/switch, 1.4 switches/thermostat Cannot reduce mercury in mercury switch thermostats Non mercury thermostats can have disadvantages (energy efficiency, retrofitability, cost, durability, inappropriate for visually impaired and handicapped.)

3 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation HOW? Established cost-efficient program utilizing universal waste rule. Three major manufacturers; –Honeywell, –White-Rodgers, –GE Companies pay transportation and mercury recovery costs TRC losses money – mercury has no value

4 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation HOW? TRC signs up HVAC (not electrical) wholesalers Most thermostats sold through HVAC wholesalers, not retailers One-time $15 fee per container Receive TRC container (1X1X2 feet) Brings in business.

5 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation HOW? List at Contractors (install vast majority) bring MS stats to wholesaler Free to contractors When filled ( stats) wholesaler ships container at TRC expense to clipping facility Clipped ampuoles sent to Bethlehem Apparatus for mercury recovery

6 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation HOW? Letters to wholesalers and contractors Press releases twice/year in trade press Contact with NHRAW and ACCA HQ and local chapters Contractor requests to wholesalers

7 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation HOW? State and local government efforts – recovery greatest in states with aggressive efforts (Education, RCRA Enforcement, HHW Outreach, Container Placement, Pledge Program) Information to states twice/year Great Lakes BNTS conference calls Incinerator companies Conference of Mayors

8 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation PROGRAM HISTORY 1993 NEMA submission to include thermostats in UW address liability Initiated in 1998 in nine states (Great Lakes and Florida) Eighteen month delay in eastern expansion until January 2000 due to lack of UW

9 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation NATIONAL COLLECTIONS Spring 2001 expansion to remaining lower 48 states. 1/98-12/31/01 results (processed by TRC): > 120,000 thermostats > 1,000 pounds of mercury 1215 Containers (some stores have more than one).

10 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation NATIONAL COLLECTIONS

11 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation COLLECTIONS: ORIGINAL STATES Midwest states and Florida Collections have doubled Still growing Big increase 2000 to 2001 Suggests program has increasing potential

12 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation ORIGINAL STATES COLLECTIONS

13 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation PROGRAM LESSONS Products vastly different: –units sold –size –fragility –level of hazardous substance, –users (homeowners, businesses, specialized installers) –availability and attributes of alternatives and other factors

14 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation PROGRAM LESSONS TRC program works because; –stats contain grams/mercury ( times > CFLs or button batteries –number sold (not specialty product) –economies from using existing limited distribution system –contractors install –small, sturdy & wholesalers properly handle

15 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation PROGRAM LESSONS Market mechanisms Industry “rewards” and/or incentives

16 The Thermostat Recycling Corporation PROGRAM DIRECTION Increase collections of MS stats Expand interactions with contractors Columbia, South Carolina Increase participating wholesalers Expand coordination with state/local officials Others?


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