Recycling & Waste

Mercury

Definition

Mercury is a nerve toxin and commonly found in fever and cooking thermometers, thermostats, fluorescent light bulbs, rechargeable batteries, steam irons with automatic shut-off, neon lamps, select washing machines, "silent" wall switches, and high pressure sodium and metal halide lamps.

Mercury evaporates quickly and ends up in our lakes and rivers, where it accumulates in fish and other creatures. Humans may be at risk if they regularly eat mercury-contaminated fish.

Legal Considerations

It is illegal to place mercury-containing products in the trash.

Disposal

Keep the mercury intact and bring it to household hazardous waste collection sites for free.

If you spill mercury, do not vacuum it up. Immediately call the Minnesota Duty Officer at 651-649-5451 for proper cleanup procedures, or visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.