Some household items carry a hidden threat.
Thermometers, certain light bulbs and batteries contain traces of mercury, which can wreck havoc on the environment when these items are improperly thrown away. Once in a landfill, the liquid metal can leach into groundwater and contaminate the air when waste is burned.
Many states and local municipalities have collection programs for products with mercury to prevent contamination.
A Michigan non-profit organization that promotes energy efficiency in schools and businesses mapped recycling sites for items containing mercury.
One of the Michigan Energy Options mashups shows users where to properly dispose of compact fluorescent light bulbs, which contain small amounts of mercury.
Another interactive map has recycling sites for thermostats with mercury switches that activate heating and cooling settings.
Click on the location’s icon for contact and a link to the recycling company’s website.