News release

Mercury Diversion Program Continues

The province is making changes to its air quality regulations that will allow a successful mercury diversion program to continue.

Since 2015, Efficiency One has run a mercury diversion program on behalf of Nova Scotia Power. People and companies can drop off products, such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, thermostats and other items that contain mercury, for recycling or proper disposal. It is the only organization accepting a wide variety of products containing mercury. Nearly 20 kilograms of mercury were diverted in 2016.

Under the air quality regulations, this program allows Nova Scotia Power to earn credits for kilograms of mercury diverted. The credits help make up for past emissions that were over the province’s legislated 65-kilogram cap, which Nova Scotia Power must make up for by the end of 2020. The arrangement has also helped prevent higher electricity rates.

Nova Scotia Power no longer needs the program to make up for its emissions over the cap. Rather than see the program end entirely, the province will now allow Nova Scotia Power to bank credits from the mercury diversion program to apply against any future over-emissions until the end of 2024. Credits must be used by the end of 2029.

“Nova Scotia is making great strides in diverting products that contain mercury from the waste stream and it’s important that we continue this success,” said Environment Minister Iain Rankin. “We’ve made a change to the regulations so Nova Scotia Power continues its diversion program with some modifications.”

Mercury emissions will continue to decrease in Nova Scotia. The limit will be lowered to 35 kilograms in 2020 and to 30 kilograms in 2030.

More information on the mercury diversion program is available at .


The province will change the Air Quality Regulations so a successful program that keeps mercury out of landfills will continue. The change will let Nova Scotia Power apply credits against its future emissions by offering the program.

Until now, Nova Scotia Power has been using them to make up for past emissions, which it must do by 2020. It no longer needs the diversion program to do that.

Environment Minister Iain Rankin says this change will keep a successful program operating so Nova Scotians can continue to use it.