Q:

What items should never be thrown into the trash?

A:

Quick Answer

Items that should never be thrown into the trash include electronics, batteries and prescription drugs. Disposal of these items requires special care because they can be harmful to the environment.

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Full Answer

Broken electronics, such as computers, monitors and mobile phones, contain dangerous chemicals. Some communities have electronic recycling centers for disposal purposes. Additionally, some major retailers, such as Best Buy, accept common e-Waste at no charge. Electronic items in working order can be donated to local charities, many of which offer free pickup. Batteries also contain hazardous materials and should be taken to a recycling center rather than thrown away.

Prescription drugs thrown into the trash can potentially make it into the community's water supply and soil, eventually harming residents. Some areas offer "take-back" programs for disposing of prescription drugs. A medicine may also list disposal instructions on its container. If it doesn't, and there is no take-back program in a given area, the FDA directs consumers to remove drugs from their packaging and mix them with kitty litter, coffee grounds or another undesirable substance before putting them in a tightly sealed container and placing it in the trash. The goal is to make sure the discarded drugs cannot somehow seep out into the environment.

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