How to Dispose of Lightbulbs and 9 Other Hazardous Items

When in doubt, don’t toss it out — read this first
insulin needles Photo: WojtekD/Shutterstock
old stove
sharp bottles
cooking grease
insulin needles
broken lightbulb
expired medication
mercury thermometer
paint cans
smoke detector
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Insulin needles/sharps

Stick sharps in a hard plastic sharps container as soon as you’re done using them, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends. If you don’t have a sharps container, you can buy one at a pharmacy, medical supply company or through a health care provider. Or, in a pinch, use a sturdy plastic container, such as a household laundry detergent bottle, with a tight-fitting lid. Label the container: “Sharps: Do not open.” [Contact your local trash disposal service or health department to find out how to dispose of sharps containers in your area. You might be able to drop off the container at an approved collection site at a hospital, pharmacy or health department, according to the FDA.