John Williams RUS / Shutterstock.com Smoke Detector Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage, Recycling & Drains Hazardous Waste John Williams RUS / Shutterstock.com Many smoke detectors contain a trace amount of radioactive material and are NOT accepted in the garbage or recycling. Instead, they must be taken to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility or returned to the manufacturer for proper recycling. Here is a list of manufacturer addresses (PDF) for their return. John Williams RUS / Shutterstock.com Batteries Are Hazardous Waste Remove batteries from the smoke detector because they are hazardous waste. Then dispose of the smoke detector separately. Find out how to dispose of batteries. Return Radioactive Detectors to Manufacturer Ionization smoke detectors emit small amounts of radioactive material, and can be identified by their warning labels. Return these to the manufacturer by mail. Find out from the U.S. Postal Service how to return these detectors. Alternative Ways to Recycle First Alert Disposal Program First Alert will dispose of up to four ionization smoke detectors. These must be First Alert, BRK, Family Gard or Onelink brand. If you have more than four detectors, they will charge a small fee. Detectors are disposed of legally, and components are recycled when they are able to. Learn more about First Alert’s Disposal Program. Recycle Your Smoke Detector If you wish to recycle your old smoke detectors, there is one program that will do so, run by Curie Environmental Services. It costs as little as $8 plus shipping to recycle one old smoke detector. Did You Know? Safety Advantages of Different Detectors Smoke detectors sense smoke and flame differently, which give them their own advantages. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that you have one of each type at your home. Ionization smoke detectors are the type that sense a fast-moving, flaming fire more quickly, while photoelectric detectors are more sensitive to slow, smoky fire.