How to Check for Mercury
A silver, metallic liquid will be visible from inside the bulb or vial if the thermometer contains mercury. If it does contain mercury, do not throw it away. Dispose of it with hazardous waste.
Never Throw Away Vintage Thermometers
Vintage meat thermometers are more likely to contain mercury, so never throw them away. Instead, dispose of them as hazardous waste.
Digital Thermometers Are E-Waste
To dispose of digital thermometers, first remove the batteries and dispose of them separately. Then, dispose of the thermometers as e-waste to keep toxic materials from leaching into the environment.
Disposable and Analog Thermometers
Disposable and analog meat thermometers are mercury-free and can be thrown in the garbage.
Ways to Reduce
Don't Purchase Mercury
If you purchase less mercury, there’s less chance it can be improperly disposed of, which reduces the amount that can leach into the environment and our water supply.