Mercury Convenience Switch Recovery Program
As of August 31, 2015 the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) Mercury Convenience Switch Recovery Program has expired. Companies that participated in the program are no longer required to submit an annual report. TCEQ supports the national goal to increase the number of convenience switches returned to End of Life Vehicle Solutions (ELVS) for processing. Information on how to participate in their program is stated below.
About Mercury Convenience Switches
Until they were phased out in model 2003 vehicles, many American automobiles used switches that included mercury. These switches most often were used for the convenience lights found in the vehicle's trunk and under the hood.
If these mercury-containing switches are not removed from scrap vehicles, the mercury they contain can be emitted into the atmosphere when the vehicle is recycled.
In December 2007, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued new air-emission standards to reduce mercury releases by steel manufacturers that use electric arc furnaces. It requires these facilities to buy motor-vehicle scrap from providers participating in an EPA-approved, mercury-switch removal program. Read more about the EPA's National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program.
End of Life Vehicle Solutions Mercury Switch Recovery Program
Although the TCEQ Mercury Convenience Switch Recovery Program has expired, you are strongly encouraged to continue removing switches. The ELVS recovery program will continue to accept these switches at no cost to participants.
Participating facilities will receive the following items from ELVS:
- information about collecting mercury convenience switches;
- collection buckets;
- instructions from the manufacturers for locating and removing the switches from the automobiles they process, and
- instructions on returning filled buckets for processing.
Once the bucket is full, ELVS will pay for the bucket to be mailed to an approved processing facility where the mercury will be recycled.
Any auto salvage facility interested in participating in this program can call 1-877-225-ELVS, or send e-mail to End of Life Vehicle Solutions (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive a free switch-collection bucket, and other resources and materials.
Recycling other Common Mercury-containing devices
Locate a recycler for your mercury-containing thermostats at the Thermostat Recycling Corporation website.
Identify a location for recycling your fluorescent lamps or CFL bulbs at certain lamp and bulb retailers and mail-in programs that accept fluorescent bulbs and lamps for recycling.
For more information about recycling other household materials, visit Household Hazardous Waste: A Guide for Texans.