The Department of Environmental Protection announces an upcoming grant opportunity for small businesses undertaking energy efficiency projects. The Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program provides a 25% matching grant, to a maximum award of $25,000, to enable a small business in this Commonwealth to purchase and install energy efficient equipment or processes that will result in improved energy efficiency. An eligible applicant must be an independent for- profit small business with 100 employees or less whose business or facility is located within this Commonwealth.
For questions regarding the eligibility of projects, visit the grant's web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us (DEP Keyword: Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program) or contact Dave Barnes, Office of Energy and Technology Deployment, Small Business Ombudsman's Office at (717) 783-84111 or firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting an application. For assistance in submitting an application, persons may also contact the Small Business Development Center's Environmental Management Assistance Program, at www.askemap.org or (877) 275-3627 or the Pennsylvania Technical Assistance Program, at www.penntap.psu.edu or (814) 865-0427. The grant application and guideline package are available on the Department's web site at www.depweb.state.pa.us (DEP Keyword: Small Business Energy Efficiency).
By: Richard Hergenroeder, P.E, Covanta Energy Corporation Director of Environmental Science and Community Affairs in its Mid-Atlantic Region
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Mercury-Free Thermostat Act bans the sale, installation and disposal of mercury thermostats effective December 8, 2009. A goal of the Act is to give wholesalers, contractors, retailers, service technicians and homeowners a convenient opportunity to recycle out-of-service mercury thermostats. The ban only applies to old thermostats removed from service and intended for disposal. The ban does not affect mercury thermostats currently in use and these do not need to be pulled from service.
Photo from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection website
The Commonwealth has accepted plans to collect and recycle thermostats from two organizations: Thermostat Recycling Corporation and EWC Controls.
Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC)
According to the Thermostat Recycling Corporation’sMercury-Switch Thermostat Collection and Recycling Plan (pdf), the company has voluntarily collected and recycled mercury-switch thermostats since their program’s inauguration in nine states in 1997. TRC was founded by Honeywell, White-Rodgers, and General Electric and represents 25 manufacturers that distributed over 60 brands of mercury switch thermostats. Pennsylvania Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection sites, retailers and wholesalers of heating, air conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems, or plumbing products and accessories are eligible to participate in the TRC program as collection locations. Pennsylvania contractors that service/maintain heating, air conditioning, electrical or plumbing are also eligible to participate as collection locations.
TRC provides recycling containers to participating facilities for a modest, one-time participation fee. Each container is shipped with program guidelines, a plastic liner, twist ties for sealing the liner, zip ties for sealing the container, and a pre-paid universal waste shipping label for return shipment. Upon receipt of a container, the empty container is returned with guidelines, a new liner, zip and twist ties, and a pre-paid universal waste shipping label. Participation forms are available on TRC’s website www.thermostat-recycle.org and are also available upon request by calling the TRC toll fee line at 1-800-238-8192.
EWC Controls manufactures forced air zone controls. Some of EWC Controls’ products contain thermostats produced by other manufacturers with the EWC Controls brand name on the product. EWC Controls customers who are not participating in the TRC program can recycle mercury thermostats through the EWC Controls’ program and should access their website at www.ewccontrols.com for details.
Covanta Energy Corporation
Covanta operates energy-from-waste facilities in Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery and York counties where it can process 7,908 tons of municipal waste daily. Mismanaged mercury can be toxic and can bioaccumulate in mammals and fish. As a component to the company’s Clean World Initiative, Covanta Energy has partnered with its clients to help remove mercury from the waste stream and the environment.
Information and the photo used in this article can be found at the following websites: