Recovering mercury devices from appliances
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Recovering Mercury Devices From Appliances. Developed for MassDEP with support from Alternative Recycling Resources Inc. & Interstate Refrigerant Recovery Inc. Massachusetts Mercury Management Act. Chapter 190 of the Acts of 2006

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Recovering mercury devices from appliances l.jpg

Recovering Mercury Devices From Appliances

Developed for MassDEP with support from Alternative Recycling Resources Inc. & Interstate Refrigerant Recovery Inc.


Massachusetts mercury management act l.jpg
Massachusetts Mercury Management Act

  • Chapter 190 of the Acts of 2006

  • Remove all mercury devices from products before scrap recycling or disposal


What is mercury l.jpg
What is Mercury?

  • Found in nature

  • Liquid at room temperature

  • Good conductor of electricity

  • Expands & contracts with temperature & pressure


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Why Care About Mercury?

  • Toxic, especially to developing children

  • Can leak from discarded products

  • Emitted from coal-burning facilities

  • Rain carries it into lakes & streams

  • Fish become contaminated


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What is a Mercury Switch or Flame Sensor?

  • Small, sealed switch or ampoule containing a few drops of mercury

  • Made from steel, plastic or glass; shape varies

  • Turns a motor or light on & off, or senses heat from a flame



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Where is the Mercury?

Inside the casing


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What Appliances May Contain Mercury Switches or Sensors?

  • Chest freezers

  • Gas ranges & ovens

  • Commercial water heaters

  • Sump pumps

  • Boilers, furnaces & space heaters

  • Old washing machines

  • Some RV equipment



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Chest Freezer

Electrical wire out of lid

A mark like this (sometimes a sticker) indicates that CFCs have been removed


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Chest Freezer Without Mercury Switches

If a plastic tab or button switch controls the light, there is no mercury switch.


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Chest Freezer

Mercury tilt switch ampoule beneath plastic casing




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Gas RangeWithout Mercury Switches

Light switch



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Electric Range Without Mercury Switches

Button type pressure switch, no mercury


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Mercury Flame Sensor

Remove metal plate


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Mercury Flame Sensor

Remove screws

Disconnect gas line


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Mercury Flame Sensor

Gas lines

Gas safety valve

Capillary tube

Mercury ampoule


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Flame Sensor Removal

Remove screws

Remove screws


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Mercury Flame Sensor

Mercury ampoule

Capillary tube containing mercury vapors, leading to safety valve

Clip attaching ampoule to pilot assembly

Pilot



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Some Appliances are Marked


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Mercury-Free Ranges

Electronic Ignition Label



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More Mercury Flame Sensors

Capillary tube

Safety valve

Mercury ampoule


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More Mercury Flame Sensors

Capillary tube

Mercury ampoule

Gas safety valve


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More Mercury Flame Sensors

Mercury ampoule

Gas safety valve

Capillary tube


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Washing Machines

Plastic button on the lid to activate switch on machine at the left



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Sump Pump

Mercury-containing float switch



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Other Appliances Containing Mercury

  • Gas furnaces

  • Gas refrigerators, air conditioners, water heaters & dryers

  • Microwave ovens

  • Recreational vehicles



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Safety

  • Protect the ground with plastic sheeting

  • Protect yourself with safety gloves & goggles

  • Protect others from using dangerous appliances


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Protect Yourself

  • Safety glasses

  • Work gloves & latex gloves

  • Work boots

  • Respirator w/Hg cartridges (optional)

  • Eye wash & first aid stations or kits

  • Portable mercury spill cleanup kit


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Tools You’ll Need

  • Pry & flat bars

  • Hammer

  • Manual & power screwdrivers (flat & Phillips)

  • 1/4” & 5/16” nut drivers

  • Vise grips

  • Wire cutters & tin snips

  • Wrenches: 3/8” & 11/16”open-end & adjustable

  • Magnet



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Recycle Mercury Components

  • Store until you have enough mercury devices to send for recycling

  • Use only licensed mercury processing facilities

  • Companies with Massachusetts locations: http://www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/stypes/hgcycle.htm


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Resources

  • MassDEP Mercury Home Page http://www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/stypes/hgres.htm

  • Report on Removal of Mercury Devices from Appliances www.epa.gov/region5/air/mercury/appliancereport.html

  • Universal Waste Rule Fact Sheet

    http://www.mass.gov/dep/recycle/hazardous/univrule.doc


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Credits

Presentation

  • Bea Maloof, Alternative Recycling Resources Inc. (ARRI) www.arri.us.com

    Photos & Consulting

  • Timothy Maloof, Interstate Refrigerant Recovery Inc. (IRRI) www.irri.us

  • Patricia Shea, ARRI

    Additional Thanks

  • Chuck Ransom, IRRI


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