Thermometers Hazardous Waste Illegal in Garbage & Drains Contains Mercury Take any item containing mercury directly to the Household Hazardous Waste drop-off facility. Place in clear, labeled plastic bag before transporting. Typical items are thermometers, thermostats, dental amalgam and fillings, barometers, manometers, old chemistry sets, and blood pressure measuring devices. Find out what to do with household hazardous waste How to Check for Mercury A silver, metallic liquid will be visible from inside the bulb or vial if the thermometer contains mercury. Digital Thermometers Are E-Waste Remove batteries and dispose of them as household hazardous waste. Next recycle digital thermometers as e-waste, because they contain small electronic parts. Put Everything Else in Trash If you have a thermometer that is not digital and does not contain mercury, it’s safe to throw away. Ways to Reduce Don't Purchase Mercury If you avoid purchasing mercury, you can reduce the amount that is available to leach into lakes and rivers. Did You Know? Mercury-Free Medical Devices Only Healthcare facilities contributed the most amount of mercury to the environment in the US and Europe decades ago. Once they realized the dangers of mercury exposure, they phased out the use of medical devices containing mercury.