How to Dispose of a Mercury Thermometer

How to Dispose of a Mercury Thermometer. Many people have a mercury thermometer in their home. If you improperly dispose of products containing mercury, they may break and release mercury vapors. These vapors are harmful to your health and the environment. Properly dispose of a mercury thermometer or any used mercury-containing items by following the steps below.

Step 1

Find a community household hazardous waste collection facility or pick-up service near your home.

Step 2

Place the mercury thermometer inside a small disposable plastic or glass container. Choose a container that the thermometer will fit into completely and still have extra room.

Step 3

Pour kitty litter, oil-absorbent, dirt or sand into the container around the thermometer. Fill the entire container and cover it with a tight-fitting lid.

Step 4

Write "mercury--do not open," on the container with a permanent marker and place the container in a cardboard box.

Step 5

Take the container to a hazardous waste collection center in the trunk of a car or the bed of a truck. If it will be some time until the next hazardous waste day or pick up, place the container in a safe, well-ventilated area out of reach of children and pets.