It has long been a habit in American culture to throw an item in the trash can as soon as we no longer have a use for it. Unfortunately, modern technology has led to the development of many items that may be toxic and harmful to the environment when added to a growing trash pile, and many people remain ignorant to those restrictions.

Below, you’ll find a guide to some items that you should be sure never to dispose of in the garbage. Keeping this guide in mind will help guarantee that you do your part to support environmental consciousness while simultaneously avoiding the hassle and cost associated with fines for inappropriate disposal.

Lights, Batteries, and Electronics

Electronics technology moves faster than almost anyone can keep up with, and an item that is one day irreplaceable may become trash the next day. However, many electronic items and their associated lights and batteries contain a variety of compounds that are extremely hazardous if exposed in a trash pile.

Most municipalities and waste removal companies have scheduled electronics pick up days that will allow you to dispose of your electronic goods appropriately. If you can’t wait for one of those days, contact local recycling facilities who may be equipped to process your items any day of the week.

Items Containing Mercury

The dangers associated with mercury exposure are now widely known, and as such, few products are still produced that contain significant amounts of the substance. However, remnants from times past may still linger around your home in areas you haven’t considered until you go to dispose of them.

Older thermometers, thermostats, and electrical switches are all likely to contain mercury elements that must be properly handled. You should contact your waste disposal service for a special pickup, as loads of trash containing mercury need to be specially treated by individuals with experience in proper disposal techniques.

Paint

Completing a household painting project can introduce new life into a dull surface and allow you to express a huge amount of pride in your home. When you’re done, however, you’re likely to have open cans of paint left over that are unlikely to do you any good before they separate and become unusable. It’s important that you dispose of paint at a recycling center, hardware store, or other appropriate location, as its introduction into landfills in large quantities allows it to seep into groundwater and risk some serious health concerns.

For more tips about disposing of various waste products, contact a company like Tri-State Disposal.