Thermostat disposal saves environment from contamination

Do-it-yourselfers and home improvement gurus are being called to action in the fight against harmful mercury pollution.

Do-it-yourselfers and home improvement gurus are being called to action in the fight against harmful mercury pollution.

Anyone replacing an existing thermostat or upgrading a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is encouraged to take advantage of a free collection and recycling event at Canadian Tire stores provincewide.

Until Oct. 15, B.C. residents can safely dispose of their old mercury-containing thermostats in collection receptacles at Canadian Tire as part of the Switch the ’Stat  program, and receive 20-50 per cent off a new programmable model.

Participants also have a chance to win one of three $100 Canadian Tire gift cards.

Many old thermostats contain mercury that, when disposed of in regular household waste, end up in landfills where the mercury can contaminate the air, soil and water.

In addition to taking back old thermostats that contain mercury, the events will also accept programmable thermostats in order to make sure all materials are effectively diverted from landfill and recycled.

According to Environment Canada, just one gram of mercury can contaminate an eight hectare lake to the point where the fish are inedible for an entire year.

For more on the program, please go to www.switchthestat.ca.