When no longer in use, vehicles are dismantled and vehicle components are recycled. The scrap is crushed, shredded and melted, usually in steel mills. Mercury can be released at any point. To prevent this, mercury switches should be removed prior to crushing and shredding.
Anyone who plans to dismantle, crush, shred, bale or shear a vehicle should remove the mercury switches. Mercury switches and ABS modules should be removed when the incoming vehicle is inspected (along with the battery, engine oil and air conditioning refrigerant).
Assume that any American-made vehicle, model year 2003 or earlier, could have mercury hood and trunk light switches and mercury ABS modules. Vehicle models containing mercury switches are listed by the Washington State Department of Ecology and the Clean Car Campaign.
Auto recyclers participating in a Washington State program will receive $3.00 for each mercury switch assembly removed and sent to the designated recycler. This is one provision of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Automotive Recyclers of Washington, the Washington State Department of Ecology and the auto manufacturers. The MOU was effective January 1, 2006.
For information about how to participate in the reimbursement program, contact Jan Brydsen, Washington Department of Ecology, 509-575-2477 or email@example.com.
For more information contact Taylor Watson, Health and Environmental Investigator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.