Thermostat Recycling Corp. releases first quarter recycling results

Johnstone Supply Inc. lead the list of 278 collection locations where it recycled 3,289 thermostats in Q1.

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Thermostat Recycling Corp. (TRC), Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, has released its first quarter results of collection locations that have recycled thermostats between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Johnstone Supply, Portland, Oregon, leads the list of 278 collection locations where at least one thermostat was recycled, followed by R.E. Michel Co., Baltimore, and newcomer Wheelabrator Technologies, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with its affiliated accounts. The top 10 list and the number of thermostats they collected are:

  1. Johnstone Supply (national)—3,289
  2. R.E. Michel (national)—2,724
  3. Wheelabrator (Massachusetts)—1,145
  4. United Refrigeration, Philadelphia (national)—931
  5. Lennox Parts Plus, Dallas (national)—753
  6. Watsco Owned Distribution, Miami (national)—487
  7. Rise Engineering, Cranston, Rhode Island (New England)—464
  8. U.S. Air Conditioning Distributors, City of Industry, California (regional)—435
  9. Gustave A. Larson Co., Pewaukee, Wisconsin (regional)—351
  10. F.W. Webb Co., Barre, Vermont (regional)—347

"We are heartened by these committed collection locations who have made it a goal and a company policy to recycle mercury containing thermostats whenever possible," Ryan Kiscaden, executive director, Thermostat Recycling Corp., says. "What is most surprising is the strength of these companies' collections that don't necessarily occupy a national footprint. For example, locations located in Massachusetts are up 89 percent."

"We are proud to be involved with TRC and the good work they are doing," Steve Porter, vice president of product management, Johnstone Supply, says. "And, we love the Big Man on Planet contest as it allows us to compete with our fellow HARDI (Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International) friends in a fun way. The industry, with TRC's help, is doing a great job of keeping mercury out of our waterways and landfills."

HARDI is an organization representing wholesale distributors in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. It is located in Columbus, Ohio.

Kiscaden says the success of TRC's collection efforts have reduced the number of recycled units, while adding cost to the per unit collection.

"We are in the unusual situation that our very success reduces future opportunities in our recycling efforts," Kiscaden says. "We often say that when we recycle that last mercury containing thermostat, we've crossed the finish line. It's a shared goal and one that we, on behalf of the manufacturers, take seriously."

Kiscaden says the top 10 collection locations that collected and recycled thermostats in the first quarter 2016 was 21,812 units compared with 10,926 in the first quarter 2018, resulting in a decrease of 49.9 percent.

The recycling process picks up attention again when TRC launches its annual BMOP competition, usually during a six-month period, that identifies the top wholesalers in the HVACR industry. This year, the competition is rebranded as Banish Mercury Off the Planet. Wholesalers can learn about the competition at www.thermostat-recycle.org/bmop. TRC recognizes winners at HARDI's annual conference in December in Austin, Texas.

"This is a great mission TRC is undertaking for our HVACR industry community," HARDI CEO Talbot Gee says. "The new BMOP name only goes to show the importance of how significant the effects are when we remove mercury from our working, home and natural environments. HARDI has always been extremely supportive to TRC in this endeavor, and I encourage our members to once again lead the charge."