Title 23
Health and Safety

Chapter 24.9
Mercury Reduction and Education Act

R.I. Gen. Laws § 23-24.9-10.2

§ 23-24.9-10.2. Mercury-containing thermostats.

(a) Manufacturer responsibility. Each thermostat manufacturer that has offered for final sale, sold at final sale, or has distributed mercury-containing thermostats in Rhode Island shall, individually or collectively:

(1) No later than November 1, 2010, submit a detailed description of a collection program for mercury thermostats that meets the requirements of this section to the department. The department shall have thirty (30) days from the date of submittal to review and provide comment on the program. The final program description shall be submitted to the department no later than December 31, 2010.

(2) On or after January 1, 2011, make collection containers available to all qualified contractors, thermostat wholesalers, thermostat retailers, and local government collections in this state that request a container. Each thermostat manufacturer shall with each container include information regarding the proper management of mercury containing thermostats as universal waste in accordance with the collection program and the department’s rules.

(3) Establish a system to collect, transport, and properly manage out-of-service mercury thermostats from all collection sites established under this section.

(4) Not include any fees or other charges to persons participating in the program, except that each thermostat wholesaler, qualified contractor, local government collection, or thermostat retailer that is provided with one or more collection containers may be charged a one-time program administration fee not to exceed seventy-five dollars ($75.00) per collection container.

(5) From January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2014, conduct education and outreach efforts including, but not limited to: (i) Promoting the availability of collection containers to qualified contractors, wholesalers, thermostat retailers, and units of local government in this state: (ii) Educating contractors, homeowners and other interested persons on the importance of properly managing out-of-service mercury thermostats and opportunities for the collection of those thermostats and the availability of manufacturer supported program(s): (iii) Providing signage to participating collection locations that can be prominently displayed to promote the collection and recycling of out-of-service mercury thermostats to contractors and consumers; and (iv) Written materials or templates of materials for reproduction by participating wholesalers and thermostat retailers to be provided to customers at the time of purchase or delivery of a thermostat. These materials shall include, but not limited to, information on the importance of properly managing out-of-service mercury thermostats and opportunities for the collection of those thermostats.

(6) For calendar year 2011, collect at least two thousand (2000) mercury thermostats taken out-of-service in the state during the calendar year. For calendar year 2012, the goal shall be to collect at least two thousand two hundred fifty (2,250) mercury thermostats. For calendar year 2013 and 2014, the goal shall be to collect at least two thousand five hundred (2,500) mercury thermostats taken out-of-service in the state during each calendar year.

(7) Beginning in 2012, submit an annual report to the department by March 1, of each year that includes, at a minimum, all of the following:

(i) The number of mercury-containing thermostats collected and recycled by that manufacturer pursuant to this section during the previous calendar year;

(ii) The estimated total amount of mercury contained in the thermostat components collected by that manufacturer pursuant to this section in the previous calendar year;

(iii) An elevation of the effectiveness of the manufacturer’s collection program;

(iv) An accounting of the administrative costs incurred in the course of administering the collection and recycling program; and

(v) A list of locations that participate as collection sites.

(b) Department responsibilities.

(1) Collection points. The department shall maintain and post on their website a list of units of local government, thermostat retailers and any other locations that are collection points for mercury thermostats.

(2) Education outreach. In conjunction with the educational and outreach programs implemented by manufacturers, the department shall conduct an education and outreach program directed toward wholesalers, retailers, contractors, and homeowners to promote the collection of out-of-service mercury-containing thermostats.

(3) Rate of collection. For calendar year 2015 through 2020, the collection goals shall be established by the department. The department shall establish collection goals no later than November 1, 2014. In developing collection goals, the department shall take into account, at a minimum: (i) The effectiveness of collection programs for out-of-service mercury thermostats in the state and other states; (ii) Collection requirements in other states; (iii) Any reports or studies on the number of out-of-service mercury thermostats that are available for collection in this state, other states, and nationally; and (iv) Other factors. Prior to establishing the collection goals, the department shall consult with stakeholder groups that include, at minimum, representatives of thermostat manufacturers, environmental groups, thermostat wholesalers, contractors, and thermostat retailers.

(4) Modifications to collection programs. Modifications required by the department may include, but not be limited to, improvements to outreach and education conducted under the collection program, expansion of the number of collections sites established under the program, and modification of the roles of participants. Modifications that may include a five dollar ($5) incentive in the form of either cash or a coupon offered by the manufacturer to contractors and consumers for each out-of-service mercury thermostat returned to a collection site may not be considered prior to January 1, 2014. In the event that the department determines that a program shall be modified, the department shall consult with thermostat manufacturers, thermostat wholesalers, thermostat retailers, service contractors, environmental groups and municipalities to develop the revisions to the program. If the program is modified to include a financial incentive, the department may exempt local government collections from the financial incentive provision. Any modifications made to the collection program shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 35 of title 42, (“The Administrative Procedures Act”).

History of Section.
P.L. 2010, ch. 131, § 2; P.L. 2010, ch. 145, § 2.