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Fire Department Offers Mercury Drop Off Site
Published: Thursday, February 5, 2009, C-T

The Chillicothe Fire Department, working with fire departments and county health offices throughout the state, is providing mercury drop off buckets for use by private citizens or non-profit agencies wanting to dispose of mercury-containing instruments, such as thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, thermostats or switches.

The fire department asks that anyone seeking to dispose of items first secure the item in two zip top bags and then placed in a sealed container (such as a coffee can or plastic margarine tub). The extra packaging is required to prevent the release of mercury if the item breaks while being transported.

The Department of Natural Resources will collect the dropped off items at the end of February and transport them to Jefferson City, where they will be picked up by a state contractor, who will recycle what can be recycled and properly dispose of the rest.

Anyone uncomfortable with transporting mercury instruments, or who has large quantities of mercury, can contact the department's spill line at 573-634-2436 to arrange to have items picked up. Please call the Chillicothe Fire Department at 646-2139 before taking mercury instruments for disposal and never leave items if the station is closed. A complete list of facilities can be found at www.dnr.mo.gov/env/mercury-collection.htm.

For more information on mercury-containing instruments, contact the fire department at 646-2139 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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