How To Scrap Mercury, Sell Mercury, Recycle Mercury

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Mercury when in the wrong hands, can create all sorts of problems. So let me start off by telling you to always be aware of where your mercury is. Do not dispose of it in any conventional way, whatsoever. You need to take mercury containing objects to a recycling center.

Before you read this, let me make it entirely clear. You SHOULD NOT MESS AROUND WITH MERCURY. The only reason I have written this post is to show those who are dumb enough to try it the most proper way to do so. PLEASE DON’T DO IT!  Mercury easily becomes airborne and when entered into the body will slowly kill you. It takes days for you to notice, and before you can do anything it is too late. Proper mercury disposal should be done at a recycling center, and only a recycling center. 

Before you even touch mercury, take off all jewelry, as mercury will eat away and dissolve in silver and gold, literally ruining it. Mercury will ruin your gold rings, did you know! 

Despite it’s bad reputation, mercury (Hg) is a very useful and necessary metal (like uranium, sort of). When taken care of responsibly, it is no more dangerous than lead (Pb). (A few years back, my son’s entire school was closed for a day because a child broke a mercury thermometer in science class the day before, but that’s another story.)

Mercury can be commonly found in Hg thermometers, Hg switches, Hg batteries, and as a gas in fluorescent tubing. It only takes a little volume to have a pound, as mercury is denser than lead but not quite as dense as gold. 
So what to do with your mercury, weither it is in a switch, a glass tube, or what have you.
  1. Find a small coffee can with a air tight lid. NOT AN ALUMINUM CONTAINER! 
  2. Clean out the can.
  3. Weight the can
  4. Break open your mercury containing device.
  5. Carefully allow all mercury to flow into the can. 
  7. Save it in the can until you have repeated the above steps for all mercury containing things you own. 
  8. Weight the can+mercury, and subtract the weight of just the can. Now you now how much mercury you have!
  9. 1 pound of mercury is about 2.25 tablespoons. 1 Gallon of mercury weights 115 pounds!

Things to do with your new found poison/commodity:
  • Sell on craigslist (Be sure to read up on local laws regarding selling mercury) Remember: keep the mercury in an AIR TIGHT CONTAINER!
  • Save for cool science experiments! Mercury is about as fun as it is dangerous. 
  • Slip it into an enemy’s drink. (just kidding…(or am I?))
  • Destroy your rings

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