How to Dispose of Used Smoke Detectors

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    • 1). Determine which type of smoke detector you have. Remove your detector from the wall or ceiling, and check for warning labels. If you find a label warning of radioactive materials, you have an ionization detector. If you find no radioactive warning labels, you have a photoelectric detector

    • 2). Remove batteries before disposal for both ionization and photoelectric detectors. Recycle batteries or dispose as hazardous waste.

    • 3). Recycle a photoelectric detector if possible. There may be electronics recycling facilities in your area. If you can't find an electronics recycling facility in your area, you may dispose of your photoelectric detector with normal household trash.

    • 4). Return an ionization detector to the manufacturer if possible. No special shipping is required---you can simply send the detector in a box. Be sure to send the whole smoke detector---do not disassemble or break open your smoke detector. And be sure to send it via ground delivery, not air---there are laws restricting radioactive materials on airplanes. You may also be able to dispose of your ionization detector with normal household trash, though some local laws prohibit this.

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