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MA bans disposal of mercury

[ Originally published in Greenfield Recorder: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 ]

The state recently banned disposal of mercury-containing items. This means that mercury-containing items can't be placed in the trash and must be handled separately.

Mercury is hazardous to human health and creates environmental pollution. Mercury accumulates in humans and in aquatic animals.

The most common household products that are banned from the trash are: thermometers with silver liquid mercury, nondigital thermostats, fluorescent lights, button cell batteries and flat screens on computers.

The Franklin County Solid Waste District is working with area towns to ensure collection opportunities exist for all of these items. Many Franklin County towns have collection programs already in place. Greenfield residents should call 772-1528 for information about collection programs for these items.

The district's office at 50 Miles St. in Greenfield accepts thermometers, thermostats, and button cell batteries free. Call 772-2438 for hours. Fluorescent lights can be brought, for a fee, to the district's regional 'super sites' in Bernardston, Colrain and Conway. Each site has different hours of operation. Call the district's office or visit www.franklincountywastedistrict.org. Flat-screen monitors, including laptop computers, must be collected with other electronic waste.

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