For Immediate Release
July 10, 2008

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461


KDHE Plans Free Mercury Collection Program

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is sponsoring a free program designed to safely remove and dispose of mercury and mercury-containing devices from homeowners and facilities generating less than 55 pounds (25 kg) of hazardous waste per month.

Mercury has been widely used in thermometers, blood pressure manometers, switches and other products. Inhaling or ingesting mercury can cause irreversible damage to the brain, kidneys or to developing fetuses.

“Reasonably priced alternatives to mercury-containing devices exist, so now is the time to make the change to a mercury-free alternative and help protect the health of others, as well as our environment,” said Maria Morey, program manager with the KDHE Bureau of Waste Management.

Items eligible for collection under the KDHE mercury collection program include elemental mercury, mercury amalgams and mercury containing devices (thermometers, barometers, manometers, mercury switches) from individuals, schools, city, county and state agencies and institutions and businesses classified as small-quantity hazardous waste generators. Businesses that are classified as Kansas Generators or EPA Generators are not eligible for the program.

Collection dates are July 14 through September 13, 2008. To locate a collection site near you, please visit www.kdheks.gov/waste or call (800) 282-9790.