12 Things That Are Illegal to Throw in the Trash

Some things in your apartment can’t go out with your regular garbage–even if they fit in the apartment complex’s dumpster or trash compactor. Find out what these items are (they’re more common than you might think!), why they can’t go in your trash can, and how to dispose of them properly.

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37 thoughts on “12 Things That Are Illegal to Throw in the Trash”

    1. MOST items purchased should be returnable to where bought. YES ideally “I.E. Wal-Mart” could have a sister Drop-Off for empty and discarded items for recycling.

      GIVE customers credit(s) for their next shopping purchase 🙂

      PROVEN when glass bottles were returned for credit, MUCH less toxic waste added to the environment.

      1. Many Walmarts DO have that. There are bins by the doors. They are labeled as “plastic bags” “egg cartons” “paper bags” “batteries”… Some markets may have different / more bins, but the 4 Walmarts within 10 minutes of me, have those ones that I have noticed.

      2. I agree. I would return electronics for disposal to Best Buy but, you had to pay a fee that could be used to buy something in store. The same is true when you go for new tires. To get rid of the old ones you have to pay a disposal fee. I want to be able to get rid of useless trash and not pay to get rid of it. We already pay for trash disposal service. Tired of everyone charging fees for things that should be free

    2. Put down your phone and your tablet and join an Amish community.
      Modern technology has been a boon to humanity for many years. Advances in energy, food storage, medicine, and communications, to name a few, have benefitted us all. If we are to enjoy these gifts that make our lives better and safer, then it behooves us to behave responsibly in their use and disposal.

      1. If you happen to be elderly but
        Still live in a single family house it is almost impossible
        To”TAKE” these items any where! Citys should provide
        Pick up service like they all other trash.

        1. Some cities I lived in had a twice-yearly pickup of hazardous trash, tires and car batteries. It may be possible to call your apartment office or local trash collection company to see if that is available where you live.

        1. I have numerous Amish relatives and that is not true. Amish people are more likely to practice organic gardening techniques, use holistic doctors, reuse, repurpose and recycle items until the object is barely recognizable, share with others, and work together to keep their community clean and strong (even if and when that community includes “English.) The 8th grade education that most Amish people have imparts more real educational experience than the typical American high school.

    3. Raquel L Salientes

      OK, give up your TV, computer and your cellphone. Don’t buy medicines. and ignore any prescriptions given to you by your doctor. What the ding-dong kind of advice are you giving??

    4. like…paint…it needs to be disposed of in the proper manor…I certainly hope manufacture of it does not cease

    5. Brilliant! Tires? Pharmaceuticals? Electronics? Batteries? Let’s see you do without these essential items. Be responsible and just recycle.

  1. Batteries for a very long time in our town always had an area at the DPW to leave them which I did for years and now we were told to just throw them away. I thought it was odd but there is no place anymore to bring them to, in my town anyway.

  2. There needs to be a very coordinated EASY system to provide many locations for ppl to drop off these items while they are going about their dayly activities such as retail stores having drop boxes for batteries and builds near entrance or give a small credit for empties. Hhw facilities should have places for drop off available 24/7 as many of them are not open at the time most working people can bring stuff to them even IF they are close – my closed is 15 miles away. I don’t want to have to store my small amount of hazardous waste until I get enough to warrant a 30 mile round trip. The grocery store across the street takes my plastic bags so all of them are recycled but the rest of my junk – only I know what is in the bag that goes into the dumpster

  3. How about a specific trash can for everyone that is non-recyclable, nor good for landfills that the people could call when full to be picked up like the trash.

  4. Most citizens are willing to accept responsibility for recycling products. BUT it must be quick and convenient for them to do it. It often is a long drive and that is a waste of resources, as well as time. I would suggest that every Fire Station (even the rural volunteer ones) be equipped with the necessary drop off bins. Virtually everyone in the country is close to a Fire Station. This effort should be coordinated by the State or County who should provide the bins, and could be financed by either the manufacturers or sellers of the hazardous products.

  5. Anytime you purchase one of these items there’s an extra environmental fee i.e. 10c on a paint can, 5c on a piece of wood, glass & cans fee, etc. Why are we charged these fees & we have to go to such length to dispose the containers? The stores should have collection bins for these items.

    1. Michele Driscoll

      Individual stores should be responsible for taking back toxic products they have sold, but behind them must be the manufacturers who offer them in the first place. Just reading over all the comments above shows how complex this problem can be for individual consumers to try to handle alone.

  6. If they provide you with a sharps container to hold your used needles from medical injections, they should advise you where who will dispose of them when they are full.

  7. It may be illegal but when you do not have a facility to receive stuff like that near you. They go in the trash.

  8. I had stored about 1 gallon of old gasoline that I wanted to get rid of. I researched the internet, I went to gas stations, I made phone calls, but couldn’t find an answer as to what to do with it. I ended up leaving it in a public place. Not too proud of it, but I didn’t know what else to do..

  9. I wholeheartedly agree that we should be able to bring the nonrecycable/nondisposable items back to store purchased from and manufacturer should back the stores making it feasible to dispose of those things properly.

  10. Lee co, FL is divided into pickup zones that include rural areas. Each zone is picked up on a different day of the week. 3 items are picked up each pick up day. Trash, recycle and yard waste. If you have large house hold items such as furniture, call the trash contractor for special pickup. The County has special drop off places for hazard waste. Put cat liter in paint cans, put lid back on, throw in regular trash. Lee County had a trash burning plant built to boil water for an electric generating plant. Burns trash to make electricity for all Government Buildings. Giant magnets at the end of burn cycle picks any steel that was in the burn process, rest of the burned ash is ground up and taken to landfill.

  11. Thank you. While I knew about almost all, I was puzzled — till now! — about prescription drugs. I appreciate the heads-up.

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