Recommended disposal options

Digital thermometers: remove and recycle battery then put in garbage

Digital thermometers contain a button battery that contains hazardous materials and must be recycled. Remove and recycle the battery. The rest of the digital thermometer may be put in the garbage. If you cannot remove the battery, take the entire thermometer to a Hennepin County Drop-off Facility.

Alcohol thermometers: put in garbage

Alcohol thermometers do not have any hazardous materials and can be put in the garbage. Alcohol thermometers are often meant for outdoor use as the alcohol keeps the liquid from freezing. These thermometers usually have red or blue liquid inside.

Mercury thermometers: bring to a drop-off facility

Hennepin County drop-off facilities

See restrictions and instructions below:

Drop-off facilities accept:

Mercury thermometers: These thermometers are made of glass and have a small amount of silvery liquid. Mercury thermometers are accepted at Hennepin County Drop-off Facilities as household hazardous waste.


No charge

Materials preparation

Transport mercury thermometers in a sealed plastic or glass container.

Get assistance: Broken mercury thermometer

If you have a broken mercury thermometer, follow the instructions on the MPCA factsheet Cleaning up Spilled Mercury in the Home and bring broken item and clean up materials in a closed bag to a Hennepin County Drop-off Facility.

Household hazardous waste

For information about storing and transporting items that contain mercury, see guidelines for household hazardous waste.

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