Smoke Detectors

What to do with old smoke detectors?

According to the U.S. EPA, both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms contain plastic, electronic circuit boards, radioactive material and in some cases, batteries. When it comes time to dispose of your device, it’s important to know that ionization chamber smoke detectors (ICSDs) cannot be recycled, due to their radioactive content. For this reason, it is extremely important to properly dispose of the unit.

Instructions for disposal:

  1. If the detector has a battery, remove and recycle the battery.
  2. Safely remove the plastic cover, and recycle it with your other plastic material. NOTE: If the plastic casing has the recycling symbol, the chasing arrows with a number – 1 thru 7, the casing can be recycled with other plastics curbside or at a local drop-off site. If there is no chasing arrow and number, dispose of it in the trash. Need help understanding plastic numbers (resin codes)?  Click here for plastic information.
  3. We recommend sending the device back to the manufacturer to allow them to properly dispose of the detector. The manufacturer should be listed on the warning label on the back of the detector.
  4. Please note, ACC Recycling Division cannot accept smoke detectors at CHaRM or your mixed recycling.