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Disposal and Recycling Information and Resources

The best way to prevent dangerous spills in your school is to get rid of mercury, but you have to do it safely.
If you don’t follow safe disposal practices, items containing mercury can:

  • Break when they are thrown into school trash cans or dumpsters, causing mercury to spill and contaminate school grounds (make them unsafe).
  • Go to land fills and trash incinerators, where they can spread mercury into the environment.

Find resources for getting rid of mercury.
There are many state and local programs for recycling or disposing items that contain mercury. Some states have laws that cover hazardous waste disposal. To find out how to get rid of the mercury in your school:

Until you can get rid of mercury, store it safely.

  • Complete the mercury audit [PDF - 195KB] so that you will know where mercury-containing items are located.
  • Put the items that contains mercury in a zipper top bag and seal the bag. Place the sealed bag in a plastic container with a lid. Pack the container with kitty litter or newspapers to prevent breakage. Make sure the container is labeled “Mercury: Do Not Touch.”
  • Store the container where students can’t reach it.