Our Services > Take-Back Programs & Proper Disposal of Unwanted Products > General Information > General Information
Convenient Take Back Programs for Unwanted Products and How to Properly Dispose of Various Products
How to Properly Dispose of Rechargeable Batteries
Call2recycle is a FREE program for the Take-Back of rechargeable batteries offered by a notfor-profit organization set up by the battery manufacturing industry. As a resident you may have seen their small kiosks at Lowes and Home Depot stores for accepting dropped-off
rechargeable batteries. Residents who want to properly, freely and safely recycle their spent rechargeable batteries should go to Call2recycle’swebsite at: http://www.call2recycle.org/ , where they can enter their Zip Code and find out the closest dropoff site in their area: http://www.call2recycle.org/newyork/.
Note: Alkaline batteries, that is small household non-rechargeable batteries, can now also be disposed of properly along with other waste in your trash or you may include them along with rechargeable batteries as part of the Call2recycle program.
As previously stated, the rechargeable battery recycling program is a completely FREE program set-up by the battery industry. Any batteries that are returned through this program are both properly dealt with by the industry itself and at no cost to taxpayers.
For non-resident generators of spent rechargeable batteries, such as retailers, businesses and public agencies, the program allows such organizations to set up their own take-back program with Call2recycle, for the spent rechargeable batteries the organization generates in-house.
Call2recycle will provide each location with UPS pre-labeled and pre-paid cardboard shipping boxes for properly packaging rechargeable batteries and returning them to Call2recycle for recycling.
Button batteries may be accepted at a jewelry store, watch repair shop, or camera store. Call ahead to verify.
UPS backup batteries can be recycled through one of these manufacturer-sponsored mailback programs:
- APC: http://www.apc.com/us/en/
- ATBatt.com: http://www.atbatt.com/battery-recycling
- ExcessUPS: http://excessups.com/ups-batteries
- IBM: http://www.ibm.com/ibm/environment/products/battery
How to Properly Dispose of Thermostats (containing mercury)
Thermostats containing mercury are illegal to discard in garbage. Most modern thermostats are digital and contain no mercury and can be disposed of along with regular trash. If an old thermostat containing mercury is removed or replaced by a contractor, your contractor
is required to remove it from your premises and recycle it. If a resident removes or replaces a thermostat containing mercury, they can look for a retail or a wholesale drop-off site sponsored by the organization highlighted below at no cost, or take it to an upcoming STOP event. Prior to
drop-off, the spent thermostat should be kept in a zip-lock plastic bag or glass jar to avoid the mercury vial from breaking or leaking.
How to locate a FREE thermostat drop-off site sponsored by the Thermostat Recycling Corporation:
The Thermostat Recycling Corporation (TRC) is a non-profit industry sponsored stewardship organization that facilitates and manages the collection and proper disposal of mercurycontaining thermostats. Originally founded in 1998 by Honeywell, White-Rodgers and General Electric as a voluntary venture, their mission is to promote the safe collection and proper disposal of mercury-containing thermostats. Today 29 manufacturers support the program.
Their network of collection sites consists of HVAC wholesale distributors and HVAC contractors. In 2006 they expanded their program to include thermostat retailers.
Today more than 3,600 businesses and communities in 48 states are enrolled in the program. Since their founding they’ve collected over 2.1 million mercury-containing thermostats – that’s kept 10 tons of mercury out of the waste stream.
Visit the https://www.thermostat-recycle.org/ website to find a year round location to drop off mercury thermostats. Enter your zip code for a location near you.
How to Properly Dispose of Fluorescent Bulbs & Tubes
Compact fluorescent (CFL) lights contain small amounts of mercury. To properly dispose of such items, take them back to a retailer that accepts CFLs, such as Home Depot, Ikea or Lowes. Check each retailers’ website for a location near you and individual store hours of operation.
How to Properly Dispose of Single Use Clean and Unsoiled Plastic Shopping Bags and Film Plastics (such as dry cleaning shirt and suit bags)
Many New York State consumers are unaware that in 2009 NYS passed into law the Plastic Bag Reduction, Reuse and Recycling Act. The Act requires retail establishments that are over 10,000 square feet in size or part of a chain (see details at the link below) to accept from the public clean and unsoiled post-consumer plastic bags and film plastics (like dry cleaner suit and shirt bags). The typical type of retail store required to accept plastic bags and film plastic under the law are drugstore chains, office supply chains and grocery stores.
Link to NYSDEC website page with detailed information about the law:
How to Properly Dispose of Certain Automotive Products
It is illegal in New York State to discard a car battery in the garbage or on the street.
Take-Back or Drop-Off
Return automotive batteries to any service station or auto supply store that sells them. When you buy a new battery, you pay a $5 surcharge. If you return your “dead” battery when you purchase a new one, you avoid the surcharge.
If a service station refuses to accept your auto batteries contact the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation at http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/391.html or call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332).
Pay a little more for longer-life lead-acid batteries to reduce the frequency of battery replacement.
It is illegal to discard used motor oil or transmission fluid in the trash, on the ground, or into sewers. Used oil and oil filters can contain toxic substances that can harm local waterways. The oil taken to a collection center can be recycled into re-refined lubricating oils that meet the same standards as virgin motor oil, or can be reprocessed for use in furnaces or power plants.
Take-Back or Drop-Off
Service stations that change oil must accept up to five gallons of used motor oil (including transmission fluid) per day, per person, at no charge. Some also accept motor oil filters. This practice is regulated by the Department of Environmental Conservation at http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8786.html.
Check the owner’s manual for your car for guidance on how often to change oil. Change your oil at the interval recommended, and not before. Maintain your vehicle properly to avoid fluid leaks.
It is illegal to place tires in the garbage.
Take-Back or Drop-Off
Businesses that sell or install tires must take back tires of approximately the same size that they sell. The fee for the collection of old tires is included in the cost of new tires. You can recycle up to the same number of tires that you buy new.
Purchasing & Usage Tips
Buy retreaded tires. Retreading bonds new tread to the existing tire body using a process very similar to the manufacture of a new tire.
Always check tire pressure when the tires are cold. Use the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.
S.T.O.P. Disposal Events
Antifreeze is accepted at S.T.O.P. Disposal Events
Purchasing & Usage Tips
Have your antifreeze changed by a professional who offers recycling. Check your owner’s manual for information on when to change antifreeze. Regularly check your radiator, reservoir, and all hoses for leaks. Repair any leaks immediately.
Consider using less-toxic antifreeze—for example, antifreeze made of propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
How to Properly Dispose of Electronics Covered by the New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act of 2010
As per the 2010 New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act, beginning January 1, 2015, electronic equipment may no longer be disposed of in landfills or waste-to-energy facilities. As a result, residents as of that date are prohibited from setting out electronic equipment in the trash or at curbside for trash pickup.
The 2010 New York State Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act is a Producer Responsibility law. Producer Responsibility laws require manufacturers of products to set up programs to take back covered electronic waste from consumers at the electronic product’s end of life. This replaces the construct of spreading the cost for the disposal of such items among all taxpayers at the various products’ end of life; both those who
consume such products and those who may not consume such products.
Click here to view a comprehensive list of electronics covered by the law. All noncovered electronic items can be disposed of along with your household trash. Various manufacturers and retailers provide Take-Back Programs for covered electronics:
Take-Back or Drop-Off
Best Buy retailers:
In the event you have been unable to utilize one of the programs above, the Town of North Hempstead through the Solid Waste Management Authority offers the opportunity to residents to properly dispose of e-waste at 999 West Shore Road Port Washington, NY 11050 from 7:30 AM to 2:30 PM every Sundays (except holidays) and at its annual S.T.O.P. vents.
How to Properly Dispose of Ink and Toner Cartridges
Take-Back or Drop-Off
You can search these databases for cartridge recycling and refurbishing companies in
Earth 911: http://earth911.com/
Recyclers World: http://www.recycle.net/
Manufacturer Take-Back Programs
Most major toner cartridge manufacturers supply information with the product packaging
about how to return cartridges. Many provide mailing labels and packing materials. They
Konica Minolta: http://kmbs.konicaminolta.us/
Laser Save: http://www.lasersaveinc.com/
OKI Data: http://www.okidata.com/environmental-responsibility-overview
Retailer Take-Back Programs
Some retailers accept ink and toner cartridges for recycling as part of their shopper awards programs; check their websites for details:
• Office Depot accepts ink cartridges for recycling and offers Recycling Reward dollars to members.
• OfficeMax offers an ink and toner recycling program with special rewards for MaxPerks customers.
• Staples accepts up to 10 cartridges per day per customer when you present your Staples Rewards card.
Donations & Reuse:
Donate used cartridges to charitable fundraisers, such as:
If not recycling through a take-back program, place with your regular garbage.
Caution: Gas tanks can explode in a garbage or recycling compactor trucks and cause serious injury or damage. Follow specific guidelines below.
All gas tanks are accepted at S.T.O.P. Disposal events.
If you are unsure about the type of fire extinguisher, check the label. Dioxide or CO2 extinguishers are refillable and should be refilled after each use. Contact a local fire extinguisher retailer to refill or dispose.
Old (non-carbon dioxide or dry chemical) fire extinguishers may contain carbon
tetrachloride, a known carcinogen. Contact a local fire extinguisher retailer to request that they dispose of your extinguisher.
Propane & Helium Tanks
Exchange empty propane tanks (or other pressurized cylinders) for a full tank at any
local dealer. If not exchanging your tank, ask the dealer to recycle the tank, or bring to a
scrap metal dealer.
Portable helium tanks can be recycled with other bulk metal items on your recycling
collection day provided the valve has been fully removed and the tank is empty.
You can recycle EMPTY plastic or metal paint cans with your metal, glassand plastic recycling.
To discard paint with garbage, remove the lid and let the paint dry, or use kitty litter, newspaper, or other absorbent material to soak up paint. Once the paint has fully dried you can dispose of the dry paint with the trash and recycle the empty paint can.
SAFE Disposal Events & Drop-Off Sites
Latex paint is accepted at S.T.O.P. events.
Purchasing & Usage Tips
To store leftover paint for future projects, cover the opening with plastic wrap, making sure the lid fits securely over the plastic. Then store the paint can upside down; this creates a tight seal and keeps the paint fresh for years.
Use latex paint instead of oil-based paint. Latex paint cleans up with soap and water and does not contain hazardous chemicals. Consider using latex paint that is low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as an environmentally preferable option if you’re concerned about indoor air quality and odor.
Use less-toxic paint thinners or strippers. Avoid thinners or strippers that contain methylene chloride, a potential cancer-causing agent. Consider thinners or strippers that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Remove lead paint responsibly. Never dry-scrape or dry-sand to remove paint, especially if your home was built before 1960.
Select the right amount of paint and paint products for each job. It takes approximately one gallon of paint to cover 350 square feet of smooth surface. Talk to your local paint retailer or use a paint calculator to determine how much paint you need:
Benjamin Moore: https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-us/paint-calculator
Home Depot: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/THDCalcInteriorPaintView?metric=false&langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053
Sherwin Williams: https://www.sherwin-williams.com/homeowners
Household Smoke Detectors
Take-Back or Drop-Off
Manufacturers of ionization smoke detectors must accept radioactive detectors for disposal as hazardous waste. The address of the supplier is usually listed in the product warranty or user’s manual. Contact the manufacturer before mailing back a smoke detector; some manufacturers charge a fee or have special requirements if the device is no longer under warranty. Do not take the detector apart, but do remove batteries and dispose of them properly.
SAFE Disposal Events
Ionization smoke detectors are accepted at S.T.O.P. events.
You can dispose of optical or photoelectric smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors that do not contain any dangerous or radioactive material with regular garbage.
Ionization smoke detectors contain tiny amounts of radioactive material and should not be thrown out in the trash.
Household Medical Waste
Take-Back or Drop-Off
Bring used sharps to any hospital or nursing home in New York State; they are required to act as collection centers for used household sharps, including syringes and lancets, with no identification required. Make sure that sharps are packaged safely, and call hospitals and nursing homes for drop-off times and instructions prior to taking materials to their facility.
Many CVS Pharmacy, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens locations offer the Sharps Compliance Inc. medication disposal system, which allows customers to mail their unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications to Sharp Compliance's Texas facility for disposal. Check at the pharmacy counter to purchase postage-paid envelopes or boxes for this mail-back. Controlled substances (https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/schedules/index.html) are excluded from the program.
Check the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Safe Drug Disposal Options (http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/67720.html) for additional periodic dropoff events.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's National Take Back Initiative (https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html) has information about drop-off events for prescription drugs, including controlled substances.
Certain medications can be donated to be used by people who need them.
Donations & Reuse
These organizations collect usable medical equipment and supplies and medicines, for
distribution in areas with medical emergencies or in developing nations. Check their
websites for information about the equipment and supplies they accept and for drop-off
Afya Foundation: http://afyafoundation.org/
Aid for Aids: https://aidforaids.org/donate_your_unused_hiv_medicine/
Global Crisis Interventions: https://www.nycservice.org/organizations/index.php?org_id=1700
Meds for MADRE: https://www.madre.org/index.php?video=1
Assistive Technology Exchange in New England & New York: http://www.getatstuff.com/
Low-Level Radioactive Waste
Patients who are receiving home health care or recently released patients receiving radiation therapy carry radioactive material in their biological system (usually Iodine 131). This radioactive material can be excreted into tissues, diapers, or sanitary napkins. Do not dispose of these contaminated items in the trash or toilet. If possible, segregate the material in a closed bin and keep in a location away from people, so that
the radiation can naturally dissipate prior to disposal.
Use securely tied bags to dispose of soiled bandages, disposable sheets, medical gloves, tubing, and intravenous (IV) materials in the garbage.
To dispose of expired or unwanted medicines, mix them first with material like coffee grounds or kitty litter, and place in a container marked “not recyclable—disposal only,” and discard with regular garbage. With the exception of certain drugs listed here, don’t flush drugs down the toilet, since they can contaminate the water supply. Learn more at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/45083.html.
Drop Off Unnecessary Medications at Any Nassau County Police Department Precinct, 24 hours a Day, 7 Days Per week, 365 Days Per Year
- 1st Precinct (516) 573-6100
- 2nd Precinct (516) 573-6200
- 3rd Precinct (516) 573-6300
- 3rd Precinct Police Center (516) 573-6600
- 4th Precinct (516) 573-6400
- 5th Precinct (516) 573-6500
- 7th Precinct (516) 573-6700
The following local village and City Police Departments have disposal boxes as well. Please call ahead for availability:
Floral Park, 1 Floral Park Blvd., Floral Park (516) 326-6400
Garden City, 349 Steward Avenue, Garden City (516) 742-9600
Lynbrook, 1 Columbus Drive, Lynbrook (516) 599-3300
Malverne, 1 Britton Circle, Malverne (516) 599-3141
Old Westbury, 1 Store Hill Road, Old Westbury (516) 626-0200
Port Washington, 500 Port Washington Blvd. (516) 883-0500
City of Glen Cove, 1 Bridge Street, Glen Cove (516) 676-1000
City of Long Beach, 1 W. Chester St., Long Beach (516) 431-1800