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DEQ Article

DEQ urges auto recyclers and salvage yards to recover mercury from scrap vehicles.

Boise (May 23, 2007) –Auto recyclers and salvage yards in Idaho have been contacted by the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to urge their participation in the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program.

The program is designed to reduce mercury emissions by removing mercury-containing light switches from scrap vehicles before the vehicles are flattened, shredded, and melted to make new steel.

“We hope that you will join this important initiative and work cooperatively to protect Idaho’s environment,” said DEQ Director Toni Hardesty in a letter to auto recyclers and salvage yards.

Mercury is a toxic metal that was used in light switches and antilock braking systems in some vehicles manufactured before model year 2003. During the steel melting process, it can be emitted into the air where it can eventually contaminate surface waters and make fish unsafe for consumption.

Auto recyclers and salvage yards that participate in the recovery program can receive $1 per mercury light switch or assembly and $3 per antilock braking system module recovered.

DEQ is facilitating participation in the program by providing instructions on how to join the program and pre-addressed postcards that auto recyclers and salvage yards can easily mail to End of Life Vehicle Solutions, which is operating the program, to obtain free switch collection buckets.

For more information about the program or Idaho’s hazardous waste regulations, contact John Brueck at (208) 373-0458.


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