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DNR sets up mercury drop-off points throughout state

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In an effort to remove mercury from homes, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has opened a series of drop-off points across the state, including 11 in southwest Missouri.

The department is working with fire department and county health offices to provide drop-off buckets in communities, according to a DNR news release. Private citizens  and nonprofit agencies can visit these sites and leave instruments including thermometers, blood-pressure cuffs, thermostats and switches that contain mercury.

Anyone looking to dispose of these items should put them in two zip-top bags enclosed in a sealed container such as a coffee can or plastic tub, which prevents mercury release if the item breaks during transport. Items can be dropped off through Oct. 22, when they will be transported to Jefferson City for recycling and disposal.

Drop-off sites in southwest Missouri are:

• Department of Natural Resources Southwest Regional Office, 2040 W. Woodland in Springfield;

• Computer Recycling Center, 1434 N. National in Springfield;

• Christian County Health Department, 301 E. Brick in Ozark;

• Lawrence County Health Department, 105 W. North St. in Mt. Vernon;

• Jasper County Health Department, 105 Lincoln in Carthage;

• Newton County Health Department, 812 W. Harmony in Neosho;

• Stone County Health Department – North Office, 109 E. Fourth St. in Galena;

• Stone County Health Department – South Office, 16914 State Highway 13 in Branson West;

• Taney County Health Department – East Office, 15479 U.S. Highway 160 in Forsyth;

• Taney County Health Department – West Office, 320 Rinehart Road in Branson; and

• Webster County Health Department, 233 E. Washington in Marshfield.

Residents are encouraged to call ahead to check hours of operation.

More information on mercury, including potential health effects and how to clean up a small mercury spill, is available on the department’s Web site.[[In-content Ad]]

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