Switching Off Mercury Emissions
A mercury switch sits under the hood of most cars.
The switch functions as a light, but it can also contaminate lakes and the air around us.
"Is it a problem...definitely. Any time you can't eat fish...and it's a global problem, it's not just Missouri's problem. It's a global problem," said Georganne Bowman with the Department of Natural Resources.
In order to counteract the mercury problem, Missouri joined the national Vehicle Mercury Switch program in 2006.
Since then the state has collected more than 12,000 mercury switches.
"I believe we only have one earth, and we need to take care of it. And being a salvage yard...recycling is the motto," said T&T Auto Owner Nick Taylor.
Currently Missouri ranks 9 out of 49 states participating in the program, but the problem doesn't rest solely on mercury switches. Any household appliance has the potential to release mercury.
"Every time you can reduce your energy consumption, you're actually reducing mercury emissions to the atmosphere," said Bowman.
There are 79 salvage yards participating in the program with more joining every year.