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Recycling smoke detectors

Who’da thunk that a device that is responsible for saving lives is also radioactive?!

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Hi Renee,

Do you know of a place to recycle old smoke detectors? I tried Recycle Force and they could not take mine. I think they have some type of metal or mineral in them, plus plastic.

Thank you for all you share with us!

Bill


Hi Bill,

Who’da thunk that a device that is responsible for saving lives is also radioactive?!

Fun Fact: According to the EPA, 80 percent of all household smoke detectors in the US contain a radioactive element, americium-241, with a half-life of 432 years.

But don’t be alarmed! They contain 0.9 microcurie of the material and it is encased in plastic. If you don’t know what a microcurie is, it’s a miniscule amount. Smoke detectors with americium-241 inside are required by law to have a warning or be marked with the radiation symbol.

Back to your question: You may take your old smoke detectors to an Indianapolis ToxDop location or statewide Household Hazardous Waste disposal site.

I also found that some smoke detector manufacturers will take back retired products. There’s also a company called Curie that will recycle them for a small fee.

Piece out,
Renee 

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