Storing, transporting and disposing of mercury - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Storing, transporting and disposing of mercury

You can prevent potential mercury exposure to you and your environment by:

  • storing and handling responsibly products that contain mercury;
  • following our tips when cleaning up mercury spills; and
  • recycling or otherwise properly disposing of products that contain mercury.

What to Do if You Have Mercury in Your Home

Many people have containers of elemental mercury in their homes left over from science projects or other sources. If you have elemental mercury in your home, you need to exercise extreme caution with it and package it to prevent any leaks or spills.

Packaging Mercury for Storage and Transportation

All mercury-containing products or containers of mercury should be placed inside a larger container with a tight fitting lid.

Kitty litter or oil-absorbent matter should be placed around the product to protect it from breaking or sudden shocks.

Clearly label storage container as "Mercury - DO NOT OPEN."

If you must wait for a hazardous waste collection day, store products safely in their original containers with the labels intact, and keep them out of reach of children and pets.

Transport container to a household hazardous collection center in a cardboard box. Secure them so that they do not tip over. This will minimize shifting or sliding during sudden stops or turns.

Transport containers in the back of a pick-up truck or in a car trunk. If you must transport in the passenger compartment, make sure there is adequate ventilation.

Recycling and Disposal Options

Many states and local agencies have developed collection/exchange programs for mercury-containing devices such as thermometers, manometers, and thermostats. Some counties and cities also have household hazardous waste collection programs. For information about these programs, contact your local officials to find out when and where a collection will be held in your area.

Earth911 also provides information about local collection programs.

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