Skip to Main Content

Start Of Main Content

Trash talk: How to properly dispose of hard-to-recycle items

Here's what to do with those hard-to-recycle items like electronics, batteries and light bulbs.

Knowing how to dispose of batteries properly is good for the environment.

Stop and think before you throw those old electronics, batteries and light bulbs in the trash. Recycling is a better option. (Plus, it's illegal to leave them on the curb in some states.)

Most electronic waste and batteries contain toxic heavy metals that can seep into soil and water. Recycling these products not only keeps heavy metals out of the soil and water, but also helps reuse materials that require energy to mine and manufacture.

In general, you can recycle old electronics, batteries and light bulbs at hazardous waste facilities, county recycling centers or community hazardous waste collections. See below for more specific guidelines for each item.

How can I dispose of electronics?

Make sure to erase any personal data. If the electronics work, consider donating them. If they aren't reusable, search for a certified recycling location in your area. The results may include:

  • Electronics retailers with take-back or trade-in programs
  • TV or electronics repair shops
  • Electronics recycling companies
  • Manufacturer recycling programs
  • Charitable organizations

Where do I dispose of batteries?

Recycle any rechargeable, lithium, lithium ion and zinc air batteries instead of tossing them. Here's how to dispose of batteries:

Can light bulbs be recycled?

Compact fluorescent lamps contain small amounts of mercury, so handle them with care — especially any broken bulbs. You should be able to recycle mercury-containing bulbs through local hardware retailers, utility-run collection programs or by using mail-back services.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.


Also Important

5 Ways to Bump Up Your Plastic Recycling

5 Ways to Bump Up Your Plastic Recycling

Easy ways to try to go plastic-free.

Save Green & Be Green

Save Green & Be Green

Being conscious about using home utilities can save you money and up your eco-friendliness.

Related Articles

Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day

Ideas to Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day

Love-your-planet activities for everyone in your family.

Make Your Windows Energy Efficient

Make Your Windows Energy Efficient

Make your windows energy efficient with simple DIY updates, such as installing storm windows and sealing air leaks with caulk or weather stripping.

Use Less Gas with These Simple Tricks of Efficient Drivers

Use Less Gas with These Simple Tricks of Efficient Drivers

Regardless of the car you drive, these techniques will help you save gas.