How to Dispose of Lightbulbs and 9 Other Hazardous Items

When in doubt, don’t toss it out — read this first
expired medication Photo: Isara Kaenla/Shutterstock
lightbulbs
antifreeze
old stove
sharp bottles
cooking grease
insulin needles
broken lightbulb
expired medication
mercury thermometer
paint cans
pesticides
smoke detector
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Expired medications

Do you have expired flu medicine, unused pain pills or other drugs in the back of your medicine cabinet? It’s a good idea to get rid of old medications, but don’t just toss those bottles in the trash. First, check the drug label and patient information for any specific disposal instructions, the FDA recommends. In general you can dispose of drugs by dropping them off at a hospital or pharmacy that has a medication take-back program, according to the FDA. Or you can mix many medications with cat litter or coffee grounds and throw them away in the trash. However, there is a short list of medications you should flush down the toilet instead to make sure no child or pet ingests the drug, according to the FDA.