Environmental Health and Safety
Elemental Mercury Collection and Reclamation Program
Important Mercury Collection Announcement
After more than 10 years of supporting the statewide effort to provide secure recycling of mercury and mercury devices from our communities, BGSU is discontinuing its participation in the Ohio Mercury Reduction Group effective January 1, 2011. Mercury is recognized as both hazardous to human health as well as a dangerous environmental pollutant with the ability to accumulate to hazardous levels in fish and wildlife.
BGSU’s mercury collection and reclamation program began in 1998 as a collaboration with the Ohio EPA, Rader Environmental Services, and Toledo Environmental Services. Since then, BGSU has collected and safely managed the recycling or disposal of over 25,000 pounds of mercury that otherwise might have ended up polluting Ohio’s land and waterways.
The University began its support of the mercury disposal program because local communities lacked the resources to do so effectively. In the intervening years, awareness of the hazards of mercury devices has grown, and many resources are now available at the local community level to effectively dispose of mercury waste.
In withdrawing from participation in the statewide program, the University is comfortable that local resources now exist to properly dispose of these materials. Holding local solid waste districts, health departments, fire departments and wastewater districts accountable for managing materials within their community reduces the carbon footprint associated with the current system and reduces the exposure of University resources (staff, students and the campus environment) to the hazards of mercury mishap.
The University’s collection of mercury will cease effective December 15, 2010.
For more information on Ohio’s Mercury Reduction Group, contact Joe Rader at Rader Environmental at 419-424-1144.