Protecting Oregon's Environment
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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Land Quality

Mercury Information 

Prevention and Reuse
Recovery and Compost
Oregon's Recycling Laws
Conferences, Training & Workshops

How to Properly Dispose of Mercury

For homeowners

Participating collection programs
If you have elemental mercury, mercury-containing compounds or mercury-containing devices from your home, you can take them to a HHW facility or collection event. There is usually no charge for disposal of this type of waste. Statewide HHW programs are listed here: Free home pick-up
If there is no HHW disposal program available in your county or nearby counties, call the DEQ solid waste technical assistance staff member in the nearest DEQ regional office regarding free pick-up of mercury from your home by a DEQ hazardous waste contractor. To be eligible for free pick-up of mercury, you must meet the following criteria:
  • Mercury must be in the elemental (liquid) form.
  • There must be at least 10 pounds of mercury to be picked up (about 3/4 cup). If you have less than 10 pounds, DEQ may be able to pick it up in special circumstances (call the nearest DEQ regional office to check on this).
  • You must be willing to hold on to the mercury and store it safely until the DEQ contractor is available to pick it up.
Recycle fluorescent light tubes compact fluorescent light bulbs by taking them to a HHW collection event or facility (see links above) or to a retail location.

For a business or other non-household source (CEGs, including schools)

A conditionally exempt generator creates less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste and 2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste per calendar month and does not accumulate more than 2,200 pounds of hazardous waste (2.2 pounds of acutely hazardous waste) at one time.

Collection facilities or events
If you are a business, school, or other non-household site that is a CEG, you can take elemental mercury, mercury-containing compounds or mercury-containing devices for safe disposal to a permanent HHW collection facility or a HHW collection event. There may be a small charge for disposal and pre-registration is usually required.

For heating, ventilating and air conditioning contractors/wholesalers:
You can recycle mercury thermostats through the Thermostat Recycling Corporation program. If your company has seven or more contractors/technicians, or is located in a rural area, you are eligible to get your own recycling container from TRC.

Other options
Other options for safe disposal of CEG mercury waste are contracting with your hazardous waste vendor or hazardous waste contractor or recycling programs available through manufacturers or others.

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For more information about DEQ's Land Quality programs, visit the DEQ contact page.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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