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duncan-uk

Selling mercury

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So in his wisdom my late grandfather took it upon himself to save mercury from various electrical components he came across in his life as an electrician. 

 

For some reason this has ended up with me. I appreciate its nasty stuff but is safely stored and doing no harm where it sits (it's not masses) but I'm wondering what to do with it. Thus far I've not found a place to sell it or dispose of it safely, legally and correctly. 

 

If if it's worth something that's great but if not what do I do with it!?

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Hi Duncan,

 

You'll need to read this and then perhaps contact some hazardous waste specialists to see if they'll take it - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supplying-explosives-precursors/supplying-explosives-precursors-and-poison

 

I don't think it's worth much either. There might be more to disposing legally and safely, but the above is at least a start !

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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Thanks Dennis. It's not so much it's value more that I do the right thing. 

 

Worse case is I take it to my local council tip and make it there problem!

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Email your local council and ask them.

 

Your local council may refuse to accept it at the local tip.

 

I asked my local council where to dispose of used brake fluid after being told I couldn't put it in the container with the other used oils by a worker at the local tip.

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37 minutes ago, duncan-uk said:

^ what did they suggest re brake fluid? I've always put it in with oil...

 

They didn't so I just mixed with used lawnmower engine oil so it looked like oil and tipped it in the used oil container as I had done many a time previously.

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We can never know for sure as he's no longer with us but my grandfather was a royal emgineer and insulation tester for the electricity board. He liked fixing things and fiddling with things and squirrelling stuff away that might be useful. 

 

As as I recall it was from tilt switches and the like whether it was collected to dispose of the switch or for an un known use who knows but it's ended up in my garage!

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Tilt switches are the most common use, also mercury vapour and mercury arc rectifiers.

 

I assume it's in a sealed container? It's actually quite volatile, you see. You would be best contacting your local council, or a school/university.

 

It's amazing to think that in my first year at secondary school (and no, we weren't writing on slates!) we were encouraged to dip our fingers in mercury to show it had no 'wetness' because of its surface tension: a former colleague of mine went to a school where they eventually had to replace the flooring and remove all the mercury from underneath the floorboards! My brother-in-law - a radiographer - asked if it was because they'd noticed the school exam results slowly dropping over the years...!

 

Edited by e60neindanke

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21 hours ago, duncan-uk said:

but my grandfather was a royal emgineer and insulation tester for the electricity board. He liked fixing things and fiddling with things and squirrelling stuff away that might be useful. 

 

As as I recall it was from tilt switches and the like whether it was collected to dispose of the switch or for an un known use who knows

 

Opps I meant - generally is it common for the engineers or electricians to keep mercury?  

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17 hours ago, e60neindanke said:

Tilt switches are the most common use,

 

It's amazing to think that in my first year at secondary school (and no, we weren't writing on slates!) we were encouraged to dip our fingers in mercury to show it had no 'wetness' because of its surface tension: a former colleague of mine went to a school where they eventually had to replace the flooring and remove all the mercury from underneath the floorboards! My brother-in-law - a radiographer - asked if it was because they'd noticed the school exam results slowly dropping over the years...!

 

 

LOL about the school

 

My GCSE for C.D.T my practical was a bicylce alarm.  If the wires were cut then an alarm will sound, and if the bicycle moved then the alarm will also sound because of a mercury tilt switch 

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On 2/13/2018 at 10:21 AM, 535i Andrew said:

I asked my local council where to dispose of used brake fluid after being told I couldn't put it in the container with the other used oils by a worker at the local tip.

Did he tell you to STOP!

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We had the police in our school in the early 80's because someone had stolen some mercury from the lab, they went into great detail about it killing you even when you thought it was safe.

 

Never remember if they found it and thinking back someone probably snorted it.

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3 hours ago, nealpina said:

 

Opps I meant - generally is it common for the engineers or electricians to keep mercury?  

 

Absolutely not, unless you have a sideline in making dental amalgam.

 

Too hazardous unless sealed inside a component. I have, to add to my neuroses, a number of pre-war radiograms that use mercury in a glass tilt switch to operate the motor when the start button is pressed. I'm sure that it was once used for wiping across the surface of another metal for some reason, but ca't remember why...

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Just for the record its something my grandfather did many years ago - the mercury is safely stored and sealed undisturbed doing no harm - i'm just trying to find out how to correctly dispose of it.

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