News Release 006

Department of Natural Resources sponsoring mercury drop-off sites in southwest Missouri

Volume 39-006 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is launching a statewide roundup to rid homes of mercury, sponsoring nearly 50 mercury drop-off locations throughout the state, including 12 in southwest Missouri.
The department, working with fire departments and county health offices throughout the state, is providing drop-off locations where private citizens or nonprofit agencies can leave mercury-containing instruments like thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, thermostats or switches.

Citizens seeking to dispose of items at these sites should first secure the item in two zip-top plastic bags and then place it in a crush-proof sealed container, such as a coffee can, plastic margarine tub, or plastic beverage bottle.

A person who is uncomfortable with transporting mercury instruments, or who has large quantities of mercury, can contact the department's spill line at 573-634-2436 to arrange to have items picked up.

The list of drop-off sites in southwest Missouri is included below. Please call the site before taking mercury instruments for disposal, and never leave items if the facility is closed. Unless otherwise noted, the mercury drop-off sites are open Monday through Friday:

• Christian County Health Department, 301 E. Brick, Ozark, 417-581-7285. Call for hours.
• Lawrence County Health Department, 105 W. North St., Mt. Vernon, 417-466-2201, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Jasper County Health Department, 105 Lincoln, Carthage, 417-358-0481, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m.)
• Newton County Health Department, 812 W. Harmony, Neosho, 417-451-3743, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
• Stone County Health Department – North Office, 109 E. Fourth St., Galena, 417-357-8200. Call for hours.
• Stone County Health Department – South Office, 16914 State Highway 13, Branson West, 417-272-0050. Call for hours.
• Taney County Health Department – East Office, 15479 U.S. Highway 160, Forsyth, 417-546-4725. Call for hours.
• Taney County Health Department – West Office, 320 Rinehart Road, Branson, 417-334-4544 ext 247. Call for hours.
• Webster County Health Department, 233 E. Washington, Marshfield, 417-859-2532, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Department of Natural Resources’ Southwest Regional Office, 2040 W. Woodland, Springfield, 417-891-4300, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Polk County Health Department, 1317 W. Broadway, Bolivar, 417-326-7250, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m.)
• Vernon County Health Department, 301 N. Washington, Nevada, 417-667-7418, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This program does not include compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs. A fact sheet detailing the proper disposal of CFLs is available on the department's website: dnr.mo.gov/pubs/pub2273.pdf.

The mercury roundup will end May 31. Department staff will then collect the dropped off items for consolidation and transport them to Jefferson City to recycle what can be recycled and properly dispose of the rest.

For more information on the mercury roundup, contact the nearest participating agency or the department’s Environmental Services Program at 573-634-2436. A list of available mercury drop-off sites is available at:
dnr.mo.gov/env/esp/mercuryroundup-dnr.htm. Additional information on mercury, including health effects and how to clean up a small mercury spill, is available on the department’s website: dnr.mo.gov/env/mercury.htm.

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