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Legislative Memo

Darren Suarez
Director of Government Affairs
T 518.465.7511
www.bcnys.org

BILL:

S.4345-C

  Support

SUBJECT:

Mercury Thermostats

 

S.4345-C

DATE:

June 20, 2012

 

The Business Council supports this legislation. Incontrovertibly this legislation will result the proper disposal of significant number of mercury-containing thermostats.

Thermostat manufacturers have been proactive in promoting the collection and proper management of mercury-containing thermostats, and have established the Thermostat Recycling Corporation (www.thermostat-recycle.org/) that operates a nationwide reverse distribution system for their products. Through TRC, manufacturers have already voluntarily expanded the program and increased collections in New York.  

The Business Council believes that the thermostat recycling program established by this legislation is predicated on a reasonably approach to shared responsibilities among manufacturers, distributors and contractors.  Evidence from other states incontrovertibly indicates that thermostat collection programs are most successful when every party is involved. 

The Business Council has technical concerns regarding the development of future targets specifically the current bill requires the “maximum feasible number”, and a requirement that the DEC to compare New York’s targets against that of states with mandatory programs established by law, rather than against all other states. Additionally, the bill also contains a mechanism to require manufacturers to pay a financial incentive (or “bounty”) to contractors for each thermostat recycled. This approach, has proven costly, and bureaucratically complex, with a negligible impact on collection rates in the two states that have adopted it.

For these reasons, The Business Council of New York State supports this legislation.