Porter County Residents Urged to Recycle Smoke Detectors

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on October 13, 2021 with No Comments

Smoke detectors save lives in Porter County but can be problematic for recycling.  

In today’s retail market many smoke detectors contain small amounts of americium-241, a radioactive material that aids in detecting smoke. 

“Smoke detectors can be really confusing for consumers. Smoke detectors containing americium-241 should not be placed in curbside trash. This chemical is considered radioactive and can seep into the ground. It’s a dangerous substance and very toxic for our environment,” said Keri Marrs Barron, Executive Director of Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County. 

The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County has partnered with several area fire departments, and stations for county-wide smoke detector recycling collection. 

“Across Porter County we’ve connected with many local fire departments to add ease with recycling smoke detectors. Porter County residents have several drop-off locations to choose amongst for smoke detector recycling,” said Barron. 

The Porter County Fire Association and the National Fire Protection Association suggest checking all smoke detectors every six months to ensure units are in solid working order. Smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.  

Common carbon monoxide detectors do not contain radioactive materials and can be recycled in the District’s electronics recycling program, along with smoke detector batteries and carbon monoxide. 

For more information on smoke detector recycling locations, call 219-510-1124, or visit www.PorterCountyRecycling.org

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