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Radioactive Smoke Alarm Recycling

Heritage Environmental Services has partnered with Curie Environmental to offer an easy and economical way to dispose of intact smoke alarms, for homeowners, HHW Collection Facilities, commercial and governmental entities.

The majority of smoke alarms contain a small radioactive source, Americium (Am-241). Using the CuriePackSM kits the intact smoke alarms will be properly disposed in a specially designed landfill for radioactive materials – not a solid waste landfill designed for residential and non-hazardous refuse.  Using these kits will result in the hard plastic and remaining metal to be diverted from the solid waste streams.

All smoke alarms contain a printed circuit board that if not recycled by commercial generators becomes RCRA regulated waste by EPA.  Curie will recycle the circuit boards.  Homeowners have traditionally been exempted from EPA regulations, but many states have introduced Universal Waste (UW) or Electronic Waste (E-Waste) regulations in the past decade that affect homeowners.  California in particular requires all smoke alarms to be recycled including those generated by homeowners.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends replacement of all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.  Further the NFPA advises when moving into a new home to replace the alarms if you do not know how old the alarms are.