By now, we all know.
But what about the other things we no longer need? The answer is no if you’re holding an old bottle of medication..
Motor oil, engine coolant and other vehicle chemicals must also be disposed of properly. Speaking of cars, you don’t need a brand new one to get today’s tech inside..
Many everyday items have their methods of safe disposal. Note: I include general guidelines here, but you always check with your local waste authority to be safe.
1. Household batteries
Batteries are broken down into two broad categories: Single-use and rechargeable. How you dispose of them is quite different.
- You can usually throw away standard alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, 9-volt and the like) that power your remote control, flashlight, and other everyday household items in the trash.
- Button cell or coin batteries — the kind you’ll find in calculators, watches, hearing aids and car key fobs — may contain silver and mercury and should not be thrown away in the trash. Bring them to a battery recycler or participating retailers that provide battery takeback services
- Lithium-ion and nickel-cadmium batteries are most commonly found in cellphones, laptops, tablets, digital cameras, power tools, and toys. These batteries should never be tossed in the trash or placed in the recycle bin. They must be taken to separate recycling or household hazardous waste collection centers.
- Small, sealed lead acid batteries are found in emergency devices, security systems, mobility scooters, and other special-use items. These also need to be taken to special disposal centers.
To find more recycling and disposal information,. Select a type of battery from the left drop-down menu and enter your ZIP code. Note that stores like Staples, Home Depot, and Best Buy have battery drop-off programs.
One of my show’s most common battery questions is, “What’s the best way to make my phone’s battery last longer?”.
2. Smartphones and tablets
There’s no way to remove the. Don’t simply chuck these devices in the trash, as the batteries can cause fires.
So, what should you do with it? Try trading in the old device when purchasing a new one. Most manufacturers will recycle it for free even if you don’t get credit for it..
Thehas locations that will accept your old phone or tablet.
Before turning in or recycling your old device, it’s imperative to do a factory reset. Otherwise, you’re potentially handing over a lot of personal information..
Here’s an idea. Turn your old phone or tablet into something else entirely..
Your television contains glass, lead, and other dangerous chemicals and should not end up in a landfill. And unless it’s bulk trash pickup time, don’t just put your old TV on the curb.
Try calling your localto see if they’ll accept old TVs for recycling. If you’re having a new one delivered and installed, they should take the old one, though there may be a fee.
If you strike out, contact your local recycling facility or sanitation department for more information. They may schedule a pickup or direct you where to go.
Consider donating the TV to a friend or thrift store. Perhaps a local retirement home or school could use it..
Before getting rid of your TV, sign out of every connected service and wipe your Wi-Fi password. Yes, your TV is watching..
4. Car batteries
Car batteries contain lead and acid and pose a severe environmental risk to humans and animals. That means don’t drop your old one in a dumpster.
If you replace your battery at an auto shop, they should take the old one and dispose of it for you. This is the law in some jurisdictions and applies to retailers who sell car batteries, even if they don’t sell you one or install one for you.
Check with retailers such as, and even local repair shops. They might take your old car battery off your hands.
Tech upgrade: Dashcams are on my must-have vehicle tech checklist..
Just like batteries, there are disposable and reusable lighters.
You can safely throw those cheap plastic lighters you can pick up just about anywhere in the trash if they’re empty, though this depends on state laws.
Don’t pour it down the sink if there’s still lighter fluid. Go outside and activate the lighter until the fluid is used. If it gets too hot, take a break and try later. In some jurisdictions, you need to take your lighter to a household hazardous waste site.
Zippos and butane utility lighters can be used repeatedly, but when it’s time to get rid of them, be careful. Make sure they’re empty before disposing of them and if you have leftover lighter fluid or butane, take that to your nearest household hazardous waste site. Again, never pour this stuff down any drain.
Search for your lighter, fluid and ZIP code atfor instructions and locations for disposal.
I ditched lighter fluid altogether and bought a rechargeable arc lighter. When it dies, plug it in..
Old-school glass thermometers can contain mercury, which is highly toxic to the environment and living things. Don’t throw it in the trash, and be careful not to break it.
Some universities will take old thermometers and may even give you a newer digital model, or you can check your.
7. Car tires
that can puncture landfills and contaminate the environment. When you change your tires at a shop, they should take your old ones. There may be a small fee.
If you have old tires, most car dealerships and automotive retailers will take them for recycling, though you might have to pay for this service. You can also call your trash service to schedule a pickup.
Keep your tech-know going
My popular podcast is called “.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.
Chinese super apps inspire Elon Musk’s Twitter plans, a solar-powered town kept power during Hurricane Ian, new phishing attacks, TikTok teaches car thieves, the world’s oldest webcam and how to use our phone to hang pictures the easy way. Plus, how to make money renting your car and stop websites from tracking you with URLs.
Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on, , , or your favorite podcast player.
or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and. You can listen to or watch The on your phone, tablet, television, or computer. .
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Learn about all the latest technology on The, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at .