Universal Waste - Mercury Containing Equipment
What we do
Mercury-containing equipment (MCE) includes devices, items, or articles that contain varying amounts of elemental mercury. Some commonly recognized devices are thermostats, barometers, manometers, temperature and pressure gauges, and mercury switches, such as light switches in automobiles. MCE is a category of Universal Waste. The Environmental Protection Agency website has a detailed list of MCE.
Environmental Health and Safety collects all MCE for proper recycling or disposal. We work with the Facilities Services Recycling/Surplus/Solid Waste division to examine old appliances and remove mercury devices if necessary. EHS responds to mercury spills, particularly if the quantity is more than the amount in a thermometer.
How you can help
Be alert to the presence of mercury-containing equipment (see list). Replace your mercury thermometers with mercury-free alcohol or digital thermometers. Manage MCE in a manner that avoids releasing any mercury to the environment. If you are discarding any MCE, place it in a sturdy container that can be easily closed. For example, place mercury thermometers in a heavy-walled plastic jug with a screw cap. Mark the container "Universal Waste - MCE" and mark the date you put the first device in the container; or print a label that is available on this website. Submit a Chemical Waste Collection Request, print the label when prompted by the online system, and attach it to the container. Know how to respond to mercury spills.
For more information
Hazardous Materials Specialist
Hazardous Materials Technician II