Keep Those Old Thermostats Out of Our Landfills

July 30th 2010
Keep Those Old Thermostats Out of Our Landfills


As of July 1st, 2010, Switch the Stat became be fully operational in British Columbia.  Switch the 'Stat is a thermostat replacement and collection program delivered in partnership with heating and cooling contractors/wholesalers in Ontario and British Columbia.

The goal of this program is to encourage the uptake of more energy efficient programmable thermostats and to provide a safe and responsible disposal option for older mercury-containing thermostats. The rapid increase in programmable thermostat installations for residential energy savings has meant that an increased number of older mercury-containing thermostats are being disposed of in household waste and ending up in landfills.

An older thermostat can contain approximately 2.5-10 grams of mercury and it only takes one gram of mercury to contaminate an eight-hectare lake to the point where the fish in that lake are inedible for a full year. Mercury is especially a concern to young children and women of child-bearing age because it can inhibit the development of the brain and nervous system. The program is currently supported by thermostat manufactures Honeywell, Emerson/White Rodgers and Johnson Controls.

Once collection kits are full, Purolator Courier picks them up and delivers them to Aevitas in Ayr, Ontario. At Aevitas, the thermostats are dismantled, plastics and metals are recycled, the glass mercury bulbs are safely removed, and the collected mercury is safely stored.

If you would like to have your old thermostat replaced or if you would like to drop off your mercury-containing thermostat to make sure it's disposed of responsibly visit