7 issues it is best to by no means throw away (or you may be in authorized hassle)


By now, everyone knows learn how to separate trash from recyclables.

However what in regards to the different issues we not want? The reply is not any should you’re holding an previous bottle of remedy. Tap or click here to check if any of your meds have been recalled.

Motor oil, engine coolant and different automobile chemical substances should even be disposed of correctly. Talking of automobiles, you do not want a model new one to get right this moment’s tech inside. Tap or click for affordable upgrades you can make to your older car.

Many on a regular basis gadgets have their strategies of secure disposal. Notice: I embody normal tips right here, however you at all times examine along with your native waste authority to be secure.

1. Family batteries 

Batteries are damaged down into two broad classes: Single-use and rechargeable. The way you get rid of them is sort of totally different.

  • You possibly can normally throw away customary alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, 9-volt and the like) that energy your distant management, flashlight, and different on a regular basis home items within the trash.
  • Button cell or coin batteries — the type you’ll discover in calculators, watches, listening to aids and automotive key fobs — might comprise silver and mercury and may not be thrown away within the trash. Carry them to a battery recycler or collaborating retailers that present battery takeback companies
  • Lithium-ion and nickel-cadmium batteries are mostly present in cellphones, laptops, tablets, digital cameras, energy instruments, and toys. These batteries ought to by no means be tossed within the trash or positioned within the recycle bin. They should be taken to separate recycling or family hazardous waste assortment facilities.
  • Small, sealed lead acid batteries are present in emergency gadgets, safety methods, mobility scooters, and different special-use gadgets. These additionally must be taken to particular disposal facilities.

To search out extra recycling and disposal data, go to this resource page at Earth911. Choose a kind of battery from the left drop-down menu and enter your ZIP code. Notice that shops like Staples, Dwelling Depot, and Finest Purchase have battery drop-off applications.

One in every of my present’s most typical battery questions is,  “What’s the best way to make my phone’s battery last longer?” Tap or click here for a few secrets to get more life out of yours when you’re not near a charger.

A guest holds the new iPhone 14 at an Apple event at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, Sept. 7, 2022.

A visitor holds the brand new iPhone 14 at an Apple occasion at their headquarters in Cupertino, California, Sept. 7, 2022.
(Reuters/Carlos Barria)

2. Smartphones and tablets

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There’s no option to take away the battery from many smartphones or tablets. Don’t merely chuck these gadgets within the trash, because the batteries may cause fires.

So, what must you do with it? Attempt buying and selling within the previous machine when buying a brand new one. Most producers will recycle it at no cost even should you don’t get credit score for it. Check out Apple’s program, for example.

The resource page at Earth911 has places that may settle for your previous telephone or pill.

Earlier than delivering or recycling your previous machine, it’s crucial to do a manufacturing facility reset. In any other case, you’re doubtlessly handing over a number of private data. Tap or click here for instructions on wiping your phone, computer, and smart speaker before getting rid of them.

Right here’s an thought. Flip your previous telephone or pill into one thing else totally. Tap or click here for a 60-second audio tip on turning your phone, computer, tablet, or laptop into a motion-activated camera.


3. Televisions

Your tv incorporates glass, lead, and different harmful chemical substances and mustn’t find yourself in a landfill. And except it’s bulk trash pickup time, don’t simply put your previous TV on the curb.

Attempt calling your native Finest Purchase, Walmart, and different electronics shops to see in the event that they’ll settle for previous TVs for recycling. If you happen to’re having a brand new one delivered and put in, they need to take the previous one, although there could also be a price.

If you happen to strike out, contact your native recycling facility or sanitation division for extra data. They could schedule a pickup or direct you the place to go.

Think about donating the TV to a buddy or thrift retailer. Maybe an area retirement house or college may use it. Try posting it on a buy nothing group in your area if none of your friends and family bite.

Earlier than eliminating your TV, signal out of each related service and wipe your Wi-Fi password. Sure, your TV is watching. Here’s how to stop some of the tracking.

A television screen showing news reports on the shelling of the airport in Ivano-Frankivsk.

A tv display displaying information studies on the shelling of the airport in Ivano-Frankivsk.
(Igor Golovniov/SOPA Pictures/LightRocket through Getty Pictures)

4. Automotive batteries

Automotive batteries comprise lead and acid and pose a extreme environmental danger to people and animals. Meaning don’t drop your previous one in a dumpster.

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If you happen to change your battery at an auto store, they need to take the previous one and get rid of it for you. That is the legislation in some jurisdictions and applies to retailers who promote automotive batteries, even when they do not promote you one or set up one for you.

Examine with retailers akin to AutoZone, Pep Boys, Advance Auto Elements, Walmart, and even native restore outlets. They could take your previous automotive battery off your palms.

Tech improve: Dashcams are on my must-have automobile tech guidelines. Tap or click here for three great options at different price points.


5. Lighters

Similar to batteries, there are disposable and reusable lighters.

You possibly can safely throw these low-cost plastic lighters you may decide up nearly anyplace within the trash in the event that they’re empty, although this will depend on state legal guidelines. 

Don’t pour it down the sink if there’s nonetheless lighter fluid. Go exterior and activate the lighter till the fluid is used. If it will get too sizzling, take a break and check out later. In some jurisdictions, you must take your lighter to a family hazardous waste web site.

Zippos and butane utility lighters can be utilized repeatedly, however when it’s time to do away with them, watch out. Ensure they’re empty earlier than disposing of them and if in case you have leftover lighter fluid or butane, take that to your nearest family hazardous waste web site. Once more, by no means pour these items down any drain.

Seek for your lighter, fluid and ZIP code at Earth911 for directions and places for disposal.

I ditched lighter fluid altogether and acquired a chargeable arc lighter. When it dies, plug it in. Tap or click here for my favorites, including one under $10.

6. Thermometers

Outdated-school glass thermometers can comprise mercury, which is extremely poisonous to the atmosphere and residing issues. Don’t throw it within the trash, and watch out to not break it.

Some universities will take previous thermometers and should even provide you with a more recent digital mannequin, or you may examine your local HHW facility.

A thermometer shows a reading of 3.5-4 degrees Celsius taken from the ice-cold water at Highgate Men's Bathing Pond, in north London on December 12, 2017, at sunrise on a freezing winter morning. 

A thermometer exhibits a studying of three.5-4 levels Celsius taken from the ice-cold water at Highgate Males’s Bathing Pond, in north London on December 12, 2017, at dawn on a freezing winter morning. 
(Justin Tallis/AFP through Getty Pictures)

7. Automotive tires

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Automotive tires comprise metal belts that may puncture landfills and contaminate the atmosphere. If you change your tires at a store, they need to take your previous ones. There could also be a small price.

When you’ve got previous tires, most automotive dealerships and automotive retailers will take them for recycling, although you might need to pay for this service. You can even name your trash service to schedule a pickup.

Hold your tech-know going 

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Take a look at my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or your favourite podcast participant.


Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Simply seek for my final identify, “Komando.”

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Find out about all the newest expertise on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio discuss present. Kim takes calls and dispenses recommendation on right this moment’s digital life-style, from smartphones and tablets to on-line privateness and information hacks. For her day by day suggestions, free newsletters, and extra, go to her web site at Komando.com.


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