Ten-month mercury recycling campaign yields positive results

April 8, 2017 by  

Thanks to the combined efforts of Scout Environmental and Peel region’s department of waste management, 210kg of mercury has been collected and recycled safely.

Peel Region, which includes the cities of Brampton, Mississauga, and the town of Caledon, began the campaign in May 2016. The goal was to recycle 120 kg of mercury, and to educate the public about the safe and free disposal of items containing mercury offered by the region.

The project concluded at the end of March of this year, with 210kg of mercury successfully recycled. It costs about $40 per kilogram to have the items collected and transported to the recycling centre.

Many Peel residents were surprised to learn how many of their everyday household items contain mercury. To follow this up, printing services could be used to create brochures to educate the public about the objects in their homes that contain mercury, such as batteries, thermometers, and fluorescent lightbulbs.

While the focused campaign has ended, safe collection and recycling of mercury will continue to be offered by the region.

Items that contain the dangerous metal are broken apart and undergo a procedure called ‘retort’. Once the mercury is collected, most of it is put into storage. However, fluorescent light bulbs are made with recycled mercury.

The campaign was funded by the region, as well as a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to the not-for-profit agency Scout Environmental.