Waupaca County residents may exchange their old mercury thermometers for a free digital thermometer at the Waupaca County Processing and Transfer Facility (PTF).
The exchange will be available from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Oct. 18-21 and Oct. 25-28, while supplies last.
Residents may bring in as many mercury thermometers as they have, but the free digital thermometers are limited to one per household.
The digital thermometers are provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
Outdoor thermometers with red liquid are not mercury-based, but alcohol-based. So they will not be accepted in exchange for digital thermometers and can be discarded in the trash.
Mercury thermometers brought to PTF should be in their original storage cases or a similar container to protect against breakage. If broken, the thermometer should be double bagged in a sealed plastic bag prior.
If a mercury thermometer breaks at home, the mercury spill should be cleaned up properly. Under no circumstances, should a vacuum cleaner be used because that substantially increases the amount of mercury vapor in the air. Not only does this increase the chances that family members will be exposed to high levels of mercury, but it also increases the cleanup costs.
For more information on the exchange program, contact the Waupaca County Solid Waste Department at 715-258-6240.