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You could get in big trouble for throwing away these items in the trash — here’s what they are

By Fox News,

2023-10-03

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There are certain things that are harder to dispose of than others.

Items like batteries and electronics cannot be thrown away in your regular trash as they can be extremely harmful to the environment.

If you have an old, still-functioning item like a television or a cellphone, donation is a great method of disposal.

For things like old motor oil or unused paint, you’ll have to take a few extra steps and contact a recycling center to properly dispose of them.

Below are a few common items that cannot be thrown away in your trash and where to toss them instead.

1. Household batteries

There are certain batteries that you can throw in the trash and others that you shouldn’t.

For example, alkaline batteries, which include the standard AA, AAA and 9-volt batteries, can be tossed in the garbage.

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Items like batteries and electronics cannot be thrown away in your regular trash.
Apo Fragkoulidis/Wirestock Creators – stock.adobe.com

However, button cell or coin batteries, like the ones used for calculators and watches, contain silver and mercury and should not be thrown in the trash. Instead, bring them to a battery recycler or look to see if any retailers will take them off your hands.

2. Smartphones and tablets

The easiest way to get rid of an old cellphone is by trading it in for a new one. Some carriers will take care of your old device for you.

Electronics stores often have their own recycling programs, so you can also look into these programs. Just keep in mind that whenever you are getting rid of an electronic device like a smartphone or tablet, make sure to factory reset it to wipe your personal information.

3. Televisions

Televisions contain glass, lead and other chemicals that are dangerous to the environment.

Similar to the disposal process of a cellphone or tablet, try an electronics store and see if they will take care of recycling your device.

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Instead of tossing your television in the dumpster, consider dropping it off at an electronic store or thrift shop.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

You can also contact your local recycling facility for additional information on how to dispose of your television.

Additionally, consider giving your device to a friend or donate it to a thrift store.

4. Car batteries

Lead and acid are both found in car batteries, so they cannot be thrown in the garbage with the rest of your household trash.

If you take your car to a shop, they will dispose of the battery for you. If you switch your battery on your own, check with local auto parts retailers as they may be able to take the old one.

This works the same way with car tires. If you get your tires changed at an auto shop, they’ll take care of the old ones for you. If you change them yourself, you can bring your old tires to a dealership and most will recycle for you.

5. Motor oil

If you change the oil in your car, set aside the container the new oil came in.

This ensures that when it comes time to change your oil again, you can reuse the same container to safely transport your used oil.

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Lead and acid are both found in car batteries, so they cannot be thrown in the garbage with the rest of your household trash.
dpa/picture alliance via Getty Images

You can bring used oil to a recycling facility or to an auto center.

6. Thermometers

If you have a thermometer that contains mercury, they cannot be thrown away with your regular trash. Many thermometers imitate mercury but are labeled “mercury-free.” These thermometers can be thrown away normally.

If you have a thermometer containing mercury that you want to get rid of, you can look for small businesses or universities to which to donate it.

Another option is to locate a hazardous waste collection facility in your area.

7. Paint
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Paint is another household item that should be carefully disposed of.
saelim – stock.adobe.com

Paint can be toxic and dangerous. If you need to get rid of latex paint, remove the top and let it dry out before tossing it in the trash.

To speed up the drying process, combine the mixture with cat litter and allow the mixture to set.

If you have an oil-based paint that needs to be disposed of, it must be taken to a drop-off center so that it is safely tossed.

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