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How To Dispose Of Carbon Monoxide Detector?

When buying or replacing your carbon monoxide detector, don’t just throw the old one in the rubbish. Make sure you dispose of it properly. 

Though it is legal to dispose of old carbon monoxide detectors in a landfill because they are not considered hazardous waste, by opting for good waste practises such as recycling, you help reduce environmental pollution.

So how to dispose of carbon monoxide detector?

Follow the Product Manual

Before disposing your old carbon monoxide detector (here is our article on how to test it), check whether the manufacturer provides any recycling or disposal guidance. It’s usually available in the product manual or on their official website.

Warning Symbols

Pay attention to the symbols on your CO detector. If you come across ‘crossed out wheelie bin’ symbol means that it should not be put with normal household rubbish.

Return to Manufacturer

You can return the old carbon monixide detector to the manufacturer for proper disposal. Some manufacturers will take back old units to help customers with responsible disposal.

To find out if the manufacturer of your expired CO detector will accept it back, check the company’s official website or call their customer support line.

Popular brands like Honeywell and Kidde will accept expired units that are sent back to them. 

Simply attach a note on the return package indicating that you are sending it back for proper disposal.

Note that you’ll have to pay the return shipping costs. 


If you can’t use the manufacturer’s recycling system, there are other recycling options that you can try.

  • Check if your local councils have a collection program for items like old CO detectors. They should provide a full guideline on how to go about it.
  • Contact your area trash company. Some trash companies offer a service to pick up and properly dispose of items like expired CO detectors. This service may be offered for free within certain guidelines. For instance, you may have to disassemble your old CO detector and sort out parts that can be recycled.

How to Safely Disassemble Your Old CO Detector

How to Safely Disassemble Your Old CO Detector

Most CO detectors are battery powered.

The battery is considered to be the most hazardous element of any CO detector. Some batteries should be handled as hazardous waste because of their toxic contents or reactive properties.

  • Find out more information on your old CO detector battery safety concerns from the manufacturer’s manual or website before attempting to disassemble it.
  • If your old unit uses alkaline batteries, it is safe to discard them with other household rubbish. If any batteries appear to be leaking you should place them in a plastic bag or a sealed container before disposal.
  • If your old CO detector uses rechargeable batteries including, AA, AAA and 9v batteries, you should not discard them with other rubbish. You can contact your local authority for information on a recycling facility in your area that will take your used batteries.
  • Some stores like Amazon, working closely with ERP UK, will gladly accept your used rechargeable batteries free of charge. Search for a nearby collection point using your postcode.

Note: Batteries should be isolated from other batteries and commodities. If you want to recycle your used batteries, place tape over the ends of battery before placing them in the battery recycling bins. This reduces the risk of sparks, overheating and fire.

Once you have safely removed the batteries and any elements that can be recycled from your expired CO detector, you can discard the rest of the materials from the old unit with normal rubbish.

Though the whole process is a small price to pay for being environmentally responsible, you can avoid the hustle in future by purchasing your next carbon monoxide detector from a manufacturer that provides an easy end-of-life recycling option.

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