It is legal in Washington to dispose smoke detectors in the trash. However, Kirkland residents are encouraged to recycle smoke detectors for free at City Hall's Recycling Center.
Why recycle your smoke detectors?
There are two common types of smoke detectors in homes: ionization and photoelectric detectors.
Ionization smoke detectors are the most common. They contain a very small amount of radioactive material known as Americium-241. Photoelectric-type smoke detectors do not contain any radioactive material.
On your wall at home, smoke detectors presents no danger. If they are broken open in a landfill, the material can pose a health hazard.
What happens to recycled smoke detectors?
The smoke detectors we collect are shipped to Curie Environmental. They safely dispose of the radioactive material in a designed landfill and recycle the remaining metals and plastics.