Mercury Roundup program encourages residents to dispose of chemical at depot

Barrie’s program to encourage residents to dispose of products containing mercury resulted in 17 kg of the chemical being brought to the Household Hazardous Waste depot from June of last year to March of this year.
The City launched the program last year to divert a toxic chemical, liquid mercury, from the ecosystem. In partnership with Scout Environmental, and with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Barrie was one of the first municipalities in the province to launch the Mercury Roundup program. 
Although it occurs naturally, mercury is extremely dangerous, says the City in a release. Exposure to even small amounts can cause serious health problems and can contaminate soil and water. Just one gram of mercury can contaminate an eight-hectare lake to the point where the fish are inedible for a year.
The program collected 77 mercury-containing products weighing 17 kg. The items collected in Barrie contribute to the total number collected through the Mercury Roundup program in Ontario this past year: 785 mercury products weighing 109 kg. The program will expand to six other Ontario municipalities by 2021.
Mercury Roundup facts:
•  There is no cost for Barrie residents to bring in mercury-containing products or other hazardous waste.
• Barrie’s HHWF is located at 272 Ferndale Drive North and is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Residents who bring a mercury-containing product to the HHWF receive a free digital thermometer; lighting and batteries are excluded from this promotion).
Visit www.MercuryRoundup.ca/Barrie to see a full list of items that may contain mercury and how residents can properly dispose of them through the program.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. The Foundation awarded more than $120 million to 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities. Scout Environmental is an award-winning, not for profit organization that engages the public, guides industry and equips communities to make better choices for their health and the environment.

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