According to the U.S. EPA, both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms contain plastic, electronic circuit boards and in some cases, batteries. When it comes time to dispose of your device, it’s important to know that ionization smoke detectors/alarms contain americium-241 (a radioactive material) and cannot be recycled. To dispose of them:
- Remove the battery and recycle it. (If you have curbside recycling service at your home, place the household batteries in a sealable, clear plastic bag and place on top of your recycling cart lid; if you don’t have curbside recycling visit Batteries, Household (AA, AAA, C, D, Lithium, Mercury, Ni-Cad).
- Place them in your garbage container.