"TRC began decades ago as a volunteer effort initiated by manufacturers wanting to do the right thing and take back their own products in the safest, most proactive way possible," says TRC Executive Director Ryan Kiscaden. "With ecobee and Nest Labs joining our organization, they are setting a great example for other companies to follow."
Production of mercury-containing thermostats ceased in 2007 and has been replaced by programmable and smart thermostats. These conditions coupled with TRC's aggressive collection and recycling campaigns have led to a decline of mercury thermostats in use and circulation. This is reflected in TRC's annual collection data.
"We've always believed that manufactures of nonmercury containing devices are key to helping us make greater gains in our collection efforts," says Kiscaden. "With the newer devices replacing the older stock, it's a natural relationship for them to promote our program to those who come into contact with mercury thermostats during installation."
Ecobee and Nest mirror Kiscaden's views and say they feel the time is right for more companies to step up and support TRC's cause.
"We're a company that upholds social and environmental values," says Fatima Crerar, senior manager of social impact at Ecobee. "We've long considered what happens to the old thermostats we replace and taking part in TRC's program helps us with that. We believe every manufacturer has a natural role in managing the lifecycle of their product and the waste and pollution created by the old products they replace."
"The pressing, driving need to help the environment is one of the reasons why Nest was created," says Mark Rose, product lead for the Nest Thermostat at Nest. "We're happy to be one of the first nonmercury thermostat manufacturers to join TRC's program and continue our mission of creating a home that takes care of the people inside it and around the world."
TRC has grown since its 1998 start. Today, it has 31 manufacturer members and ensures compliance for each. With more than 3,000 collection sites, operating in 48 contiguous states, TRC has diverted more than 10 tons of mercury from the ecosystem and waste stream.
TRC was founded in 1998 as an industry-funded nonprofit. Membership consist of 31 manufacturers that either branded and sold mercury thermostats in the U.S. prior to their discontinuation in 2007 or produced devices that may replace mercury-containing thermostats.
With a network of more than 3,000 collection sites nationwide, TRC has recovered more than 2.1 million thermostats or 10 tons of mercury to date. All costs to transport and properly dispose of recovered thermostats are assumed by TRC.