Clark County & City of Vancouver Reusable Materials Exchange

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Recyclopedia: Barometer

Barometer

Barometer

Barometers contain mercury. Mercury is a naturally occurring, highly toxic, heavy metal that moves between water, air, and soil as a result of natural and human activities. It is a persistent and bioaccumulative toxin (PBT), which means that it accumulates in animals and people, becoming more concentrated as it moves up the food chain, causing harm to people and the environment. Mercury should not be discarded in the trash, flushed down the toilet, or left on the side of a road. All mercury containing products should be disposed of as a hazardous waste.

Cleaning Up a Mercury Spill
• Do not vacuum!
• Make sure the spill area is adequately ventilated.
• Wear rubber gloves to prevent skin contact. Keep hands away from your face — especially eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Isolate the spill immediately. If it is on a raised surface, contain it so that mercury doesn’t roll onto the floor. Divert spilled mercury from drains, cracks, and crevices.
• Carefully pick up broken glass. Wrap or fold in a paper towel or tissue and place in a leak-proof plastic bag.
• Working from the outside of the spill area toward the center, push small mercury beads together with a card, stiff paper, or squeegee to form larger droplets. Use an eyedropper or two stiff pieces of paper to pick up droplets and place into a leak-proof plastic bag.
• Use the sticky side of duct or masking tape (two inches or wider) to pick up remaining glass and mercury droplets. Pay special attention to cracks or crevices in tile or wood floors. Place the glass, mercury, and tape into the same leak-proof bag.
• Using a flashlight, look all around the area of the spill. The light will reflect off the mercury beads, making it easier to see them. Pick up any droplets using the procedure above.
• When finished, carefully remove the rubber gloves and place them in the leak-proof plastic bag.
• Place all mercury-containing clean-up debris (gloves, tape, mercury, etc. contained in a leak-proof plastic bag) into another leak-proof plastic bag, twist or snap shut, and seal the opening with tape.
• Take the bag to a free Household Hazardous Waste collection facility or collection event.

FREE HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE (HHW) DISPOSAL
If you live in Clark County or one of its cities, you may dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste products at any of the following HHW collection sites or events. Eligible senior and citizens with disabilities who are unable to transport HHW to a collection site or event may call (360) 397-6118 ext. 4352 to see if they qualify for a free home pick up. Business-generated hazardous waste will not be accepted.

To dispose of your HHW products at a county-sponsored disposal site:

DO:
• Keep HHW products separate (do not mix).
• Bring products in their original containers when possible.
• Seal products to prevent leaks and spills.
• Keep products away from the driver and passengers, i.e., in a trunk, truck bed, or trailer.
• Keep children and pets away from collection sites and events.

DO NOT:
• Exceed 25 gallons or 220 pounds of HHW per event.
• Bring unlabeled, empty or leaking containers, asbestos, explosives or ammunition, radioactive or infectious waste, or business-generated waste to the collection site.