There are multiple types of smoke detectors; the most common types are ionization and photoelectric. Ionization smoke detectors contain radioactive materials and should be properly managed. Photoelectric smoke detectors do not contain radioactive materials and can go in the trash.

To find out what type of smoke detector you have, look on the front, back or the inside for:

If your smoke detector is radioactive (so, indicates it is an ionization smoke detector or states is contains radioactive materials), send it back to the manufacturer; check out this link for a list of manufacturers that take them back,

If the detector is not radioactive (is labeled as photoelectric / has no indication it contains radioactive materials), it may go in your normal trash. If  it has a battery, be sure to remove the battery before putting it in the trash.

If you have a radioactive smoke detector AND other household toxics, make an appointment for OCRRA’s Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off. You must make an appointment in advance of drop off. While OCRRA provides this service for free, in reality, it costs about $50 per vehicle, to safely manage these materials.

Was this page helpful?


    What were you looking for

    Mail List

    Join Our Mailing List