Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Hempstead Town, Covanta Energy Providing Home Depot Gift Cards to Residents Who Recycle Mercury-Based ThermostatsHempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray reminds residents that they can still turn in their old mercury thermostats at town-sponsored S.T.O.P. events as part of a mercury recycling program organized by the Town of Hempstead and Covanta Energy. The benefit is two-fold: residents are helping to safely dispose of a potentially harmful toxin and they will receive a $5 gift card toward the purchase of a modern mercury-free thermostat at Home Depot.

“Partnering with Covanta Energy, the Town of Hempstead is providing a venue at which residents can safely dispose of old mercury thermostats and receive a $5 gift card to use toward their purchase of a digital thermostat,” said Murray. “I would like to thank Covanta Energy for providing these gift cards and helping the town implement this excellent program.

Now entering its fourth year, the mercury recycling program has resulted in over 67 pounds of mercury being collected at Town of Hempstead S.T.O.P. events. To put this in perspective, the mercury collected equates to the amount found in over 10 million fluorescent light bulbs.

“This program will help take potentially harmful toxins out of homes and prevent them from entering our waterways,” said Hempstead Town Councilman James Darcy. “I urge all residents with mercury-based thermostats to recycle them at one of our town S.T.O.P. events.”

Covanta Energy, a world-renowned waste-to-energy company with a facility in Westbury, is proud to significantly reduce the amount of mercury being disposed of in regular trash. Since the inception of the program in 2009, Covanta has provided over 1,100 gift cards to residents who turn in a mercury-based thermostat at Town of Hempstead S.T.O.P. events. There is a maximum of five gift cards given to a resident per event.

“Through Covanta’s Clean World Initiative, we are committed to removing potentially harmful materials from the waste stream and recycling them properly, so we are excited and grateful to be partnering with Hempstead Town on this important program,” said Covanta Hempstead Business Manager Tom Murphy. “By taking advantage of this program and replacing an old mercury-based thermostat with a new, digital non-mercury based one, residents are not only helping the environment but can save money on electricity costs as well – as much as 15-20%.”

The Town of Hempstead will be holding S.T.O.P. events beginning in March, including:

Saturday, March 24, 2012 at Eisenhower Park (Parking Field 3) in East Meadow

Sunday, April 22, 2012 at the Long Beach City Hall Parking Lot (Centre Street, off Park Avenue) in Long Beach

Sunday, May 20, 2012 at Newbridge Road Park in Bellmore

Saturday, June 23, 2012 at Bay Park in East Rockaway

Saturday, July 21, 2012 at Town of Hempstead Parking Field L2 (Division Avenue) in Levittown

Sunday, August 19, 2012 at the Hempstead Village Department of Public Works (Milburn Avenue) in Hempstead

Saturday, September 15, 2012 at the Valley Stream State Park (Fletcher Avenue) in Valley Stream

Sunday, October 21, 2012 at North Woodmere Park (Branch Boulevard) in North Woodmere

Saturday, November 10, 2012 at Baldwin Park (Grand Avenue) in Baldwin

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at Eisenhower Park (Parking Field 3) in East Meadow

The mercury recycling and S.T.O.P. programs are among many examples of Hempstead Town’s green agenda when it comes to the environment. Town officials have worked to keep waterways clean, installing storm drain filters in over 600 storm basins that carry rainwater to local bays. Storm water runoff remains the greatest threat to clean water. Over the past year, Hempstead Town has worked tirelessly to restore eroded beach in Point Lookout and at the same time, eradicate foul-smelling seaweed that had become trapped as a result of the erosion. The town also has an impressive Renewable Energy Park in Point Lookout, comprised of a wind turbine, solar-powered buildings, and Long Island’s first and only hydrogen fueling station.

“I would like to thank Covanta Energy for its assistance in implementing this great mercury recycling program,” concluded Murray. “I encourage all our residents to recycle their old mercury-based thermostats and receive their $5 Home Depot gift card.”

For more information on the mercury recycling program or upcoming S.T.O.P. events, please contact the Hempstead Town Department of Sanitation at (516) 378-2200 or visit

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