Kim Palmer | 10/10/06 @ 1:08pm
In an attempt to mitigate mercury pollution, the Ohio EPA announced a program that compensates salvage yards for the removal toxic switches from automobiles before they are dismantled. The EPA program will now provide auto salvage yards with $3 for the removal of each mercury switch prior to vehicle crushing or dismantling. Automotive mercury switches are commonly found in components of automobiles manufactured before 2003. Nationally, it is estimated that 150 million switches, or about 150 tons of mercury, currently remain in vehicles. If switches are not removed prior to melting or crushing, mercury from switches is released, endangering both the environment and public health.Ohio EPA's goal is to collect and recycle 20,000 switches with the initial $60,000 seed money. And because mercury switch lighting is not used in most currently produced vehicles, the EPA expects the majority of switches to be collected within the first few years of the program.For more information on the mercury switch removal program, contact Laurie Stevenson at (614) 644-2344, or by writing to Ohio EPA, Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention, Attention: Laurie Stevenson, Lazarus Government Center, P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, Ohio 43216-1049.