Mercury is a hazardous material that causes serious environmental and health problems. Although it is found naturally, problems arise from its release from man-made products and energy production. Once mercury is released into the environment, it cycles and converts to the toxic form, methylmercury, and is virtually impossible to remove.
Mercury is a persistent, bioaccumulative pollutant. Its use is unnecessary since there are many mercury-free alternatives. The Department of Natural Resources is working cooperatively with many Wisconsin communities to keep mercury out of the environment through recycling and promotion of mercury-free alternatives.
The following are items which contain mercury and need to be disposed of properly:
- Heating thermostats
- Switches and relays
- Thermostat probes
The Manitowoc Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWTF) has a Mercury Preventative Maintenance Program (PMP) as part of the Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Discharge Permit issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Mercury cannot be treated at the WWTF. Removal or prevention from sources are the means of keeping mercury out of the waste stream.
As part of the Mercury PMP, the WWTF annually collects mercury from Industrial, Commercial, and Residential customers to properly dispose as Hazardous Waste. Residents can drop off mercury items year-round at the WWTF located at 1015 S Lakeview Drive. Additionally, the WWTF monitors mercury levels throughout the year in the final effluent and the PMP contacts, educates, and monitors facilities such as: schools, medical, dental, and various industrials, to implement Best Management Practices to properly use and dispose of mercury.