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NY lawmakers pass mercury thermostat disposal law
ALBANY (AP) -- Environmental groups say a new law requiring manufacturers to collect and safely dispose of thermostats will remove a major source of toxic mercury from the waste stream.
The legislation, which awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature, was passed late Friday night by the Senate and Assembly. Laura Haight of the New York Public Interest Research Group says it addresses one of the largest remaining sources of mercury pollution in New York -- the hundreds of thousands of old thermostats discarded each year.
Similar laws have been passed in Maine and Vermont. Environmental and public health groups have been advocating a New York law since 2010.
The industry-funded Thermostat Recycling Corporation, which advocates voluntary recycling, objects to some provisions in the New York legislation -- such as designating thermostats as hazardous waste.