Our EfW facilities use sophisticated air pollution control equipment that removes over 95 percent of mercury. We believe that the best strategy for preventing releases of mercury and other toxins is to reduce its use in consumer products. To help achieve that goal, we are a sustaining partner of the Product Stewardship Institute, a non-profit focused on minimizing the negative impacts of consumer products and packaging. We also support legislation that would eliminate the use of mercury in consumer products. If mercury must be used, we believe the manufacturer should be responsible for its proper disposal.
As a testament to the efficacy of reduction efforts, we have seen a continued decrease in the amount of mercury that reaches our plants. We hope this trend continues. In the absence of a nationwide initiative to reduce or manage mercury in consumer products, we have conducted mercury awareness and collection programs since 2000. Through these efforts, we have helped divert more than 3,300 pounds of mercury from the waste stream, which is roughly equal to the amount of mercury found in 1.5 million thermostats.