Automotive mercury switch removal program

We oversee a statewide automotive mercury switch removal program that works to keep mercury out of the environment. Sign up for the program and find resources to help you locate and remove switches, and learn where to send them.

Sign up for the mercury switch removal program and collect money for switches

What do I need to do?

  1. Fill out the Statewide Payee Registration form.
  2. Fill out the Vehicle Recycler Sign-Up form.
  3. Mail, fax (425-649-7218), or e-mail the completed forms to us.
We will then contact you to:
  • Answer any questions you might have about the program.
  • Offer training on mercury switch removal as needed.
  • Send you supplies to get you started.

What is it?

Some older vehicles have electrical switches containing mercury, a toxic metal. These switches should be removed before the cars are recycled. Ecology’s Automotive Mercury Switch Removal Program works to keep mercury out of our environment by paying recyclers for each switch they collect.

How does it work?

We pay recyclers and scrap processors to remove and collect mercury switches. There is no cost to the recycler to participate in this program. We provide collection buckets, mailing supplies, and we pay for return shipping. Recyclers simply fill the bucket with the switches they collect and mail to End of Life Solutions (ELVS). Participants are reimbursed $3 per light switch and $9 per ABS sensor.

How do I locate and remove mercury switches?

Use the following resources to help you locate and remove switches:

  • Mercury switch removal guide: a comprehensive guide to the mercury switch removal program.
  • ELVS created a series of pictures showing common mercury switches and switches that do not contain mercury. These can help identify ineligible switches that could be collected in error. See also this list of eligible makes and models
  • ELVS has a number of short videos showing how to remove light and ABS switches that contain mercury. Ecology has how-to guides in both English and Spanish
  • Ecology staff are also available to provide on-site training for mercury switch collection.

I’m already signed up. Where do I send my bucket?

  1. Put the universal waste label that you were provided on the bucket.
  2. Put the bucket into the provided box .
  3. Put the provided UPS label on the box and mail.
  4. Call ELVS and ask for a new bucket: 734-547-2511.
  5. Sign and mail, email, or fax an invoice to Ecology.

If you lost your mailing label, contact ELVS and request a new bucket. The replacement bucket will have a box, mailing label, and universal waste label that can be used to deliver your current bucket.

Other mercury items

Other mercury-containing devices, such as household thermostats and thermometers, cannot be disposed of in this program. Read more about mercury.