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   Solid Waste Home Page

   How do I recycle or
   properly dispose of...

   A guide for recycling and
  disposal options for various
  materials in San Joaquin.

    Deputy Director – Engineering
    Michael Selling
    1810 East Hazelton Avenue
    Stockton, CA  95205
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Proper Disposal Of Devices Containing Mercury: Switches, Thermometers Thermostats And Other Mercury Devices
serving Stockton, Tracy, Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, Lathrop, Escalon and San Joaquin County

How do I recycle or properly dispose of...

All mercury-containing devices are considered hazardous waste in California when they are discarded, and it is illegal for anyone to dispose of hazardous waste in the trash.  Mercury contaminates our air, waterways, lakes, and ocean, a result in part from improperly discarded mercury-containing devices, and industrial activities.  Mercury-containing devices include mercury fever thermometers and other devices that contain liquid mercury, such as older thermostats, pressure and vacuum gauges, counterweights, mercury switches (e.g., some motor vehicle light switches), and novelties with added mercury (e.g., some singing greeting cards and flashing athletic shoes).  All mercury-containing products in your home or business must be disposed as hazardous waste when you are ready to discard them.

For information on fluorescent bulb disposal click here.

Glass tube thermometers, with a red, blue, silver, or other colored stripe in the middle to indicate temperature generally contain either mercury or alcohol.  If you do not know which substance is in a thermometer, do not break it open to find out.  Treat it as though it contains mercury.

Some other items that might also contain mercury include jewelry, games, maze toys, and toys that light up or make noise.  To determine which of these items contain mercury, call the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s hotline at (800) 638-2772.

There is NO COST for San Joaquin County residents to drop off these materials at the HHW Facility for proper disposal.


Where Can I Take Them for Proper Disposal?

Residents of San Joaquin County can utilize the following resources to properly dispose of products containing mercury:

San Joaquin Household Hazardous Waste Facility
San Joaquin County residents can take mercury devices to the San Joaquin County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility for recycling and proper disposal.  Click on the HHW links below for more information.

San Joaquin County Solid Waste Facilities
San Joaquin County residents can take a limited number of mercury devices to the San Joaquin County Solid Waste Facilities for proper disposal.  For more information on material quantities accepted at solid waste facilities and other details, click here.  For more information on San Joaquin County Solid Waste Facilities click on the links listed below.

County-Sponsored Events
San Joaquin County Sponsored Events are available for residents to dispose and/or recycle mercury devices such as thermostats and thermometers.  Click the County-Sponsored Events link for more information.

San Joaquin County Small businesses that qualify for the Small Business Hazardous Waste Program aka the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) Program can deliver products containing mercury to the San Joaquin County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facility for a fee.  Click on the "Small Business HHW" links below for more information.

Household Hazardous Waste

San Joaquin
County Facilities

Household Hazardous Waste
Landfill & Facility
Small Business


Small Business
HHW Brochure
County Sponsored
Collection Events
List of Products
Containing Mercury


San Joaquin County Department of Public Works
Solid Waste Division

Last updated 05/26/2011


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