Older thermometers contain mercury. Mercury thermometers are distinguished by the silver color in the column. Thermometers with a red or blue color most likely contain alcohol, not mercury. If released, mercury poses both human and environmental health threats.
It is illegal to place mercury-containing products in the trash.
Keep the mercury intact and bring it to a household hazardous waste collection site.
If mercury is spilled in your home, do not vacuum it up. Immediately call the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency at 651-649-5451 for proper cleanup procedures, or visit The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).