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8 dangerous things that are illegal to throw in the US

Americans literally get rid of tons of garbage. But throwing any of these items along with regular trash can be dangerous or even illegal in the US, writes Reader's Digest.

Фото: Depositphotos

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers these products hazardous due to their ability to cause fires, explosions or toxic chemicals. To avoid hazardous situations, the EPA makes recommendations for the safe handling of hazardous household waste (HHW). The following items are prohibited from being thrown away in New York, and are also illegal or highly undesirable in most other states of the country.


Everyone knows that asbestos can be harmful if it is not removed properly, especially for the lungs. Asbestos can also be incredibly hazardous to the environment (and general air quality) if not disposed of properly. Contact your hazardous / chemical waste company for safe disposal.

Car Batteries

Did you know that when you buy a car battery, you pay an extra $ 5? You can get your money back if you return the battery for proper disposal. Car batteries most often have a lead-acid chemical composition and can be dangerous.


Gasoline can cause all kinds of dangerous injuries and accidents. It is highly flammable; if it comes into contact with the skin, it can cause severe irritation; contact with the eyes can lead to serious damage. When ingested, it is very toxic and can kill you. It is recommended that you buy only the smallest supply you need and be careful: do not throw leftover gasoline into the trash can. Contact your hazardous / chemical waste company or find a recycling center near you.

Engine oil and gear oil

Since engine oil needs to be replaced regularly, if you do it yourself, you will have to deal with “used oil” from time to time. Do not drain it into the sewer - it is illegal. When the oil is mixed with groundwater, contaminants can inhibit the penetration of sunlight and oxygen into the water. Instead, return the used engine oil or transmission fluid to any service station - they will be disposed of there properly.

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Tires are not particularly dangerous when they are in your car, but you cannot just throw away used tires. If they light up, they form caustic smoke, which is extremely harmful to people and the environment. When your old tires wear out, you can replace them at a tire store where mechanics will recycle them properly. Most car dealerships and tire shops are ready to process tires for a small fee. In some cities, the recycling service is free, and tire companies must actually accept as many tires as they sell.

Reusable batteries, tablet batteries and UPS batteries

Batteries are made from materials that can be environmentally toxic if not disposed of properly. These materials include acid, nickel, lead, lithium, cadmium, alkali, mercury and nickel hydride. Although alkaline batteries are no longer classified as dangerous, all other types, including rechargeable batteries, tablet batteries, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), are flammable and can cause a fire.

Фото: Depositphotos


Most consumer electronics contain hundreds of small components, some of which contain heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, beryllium, and others that are toxic to the environment. There are various ways to properly dispose of consumer electronics, including donations, returns of various kinds, special disposal measures, and so on.

Thermostats and thermometers

Some thermometers and thermostats still contain mercury, which is a neurotoxin so dangerous to the human body that the sale of mercury thermometers is prohibited in some states. Mercury is very toxic and can harm the nervous, digestive and immune systems, affect the lungs and kidneys, and the effects can be fatal. If your home has a mercury thermostat, then when it comes time to replace it, it is recommended to switch to digital. When you do this, make sure you find the right way to dispose of it. If you are working with a home thermostat replacement contractor, ask him how he will recycle the old one. Contractors are required by law to properly dispose of mercury thermostats.

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Buy Safer Products

Of course, the best way to protect yourself, your home, family, and the environment is to think twice before buying any dangerous products and bringing them to your home. If “DANGER” or “POISON” is written on the label, this means a high level of danger, while “WARNING” and “CAUTION” often mean a lower level of danger. Avoid hazardous materials in general by using products with Green Seal, EPEAT, MPI green, or EPA labels.

Miscellaneous In the U.S. recovery garbage

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