When home improvement guru Bob Vila speaks, I listen. And this time he is warning us of some potential dangers when it comes to getting rid of some common household items. Below are his suggestions on things that should never be thrown in the trash. You've been warned.

  • Batteries. Toxic chemicals that are in some batteries can leak in landfills, and into the soil or water systems. Alkaline batteries are less harmful, but still need to be disposed of properly at a Household Hazardous Waste Facility
  • Paint. Flammable and poisonous
  • Motor Oil. Flammable and toxic. It can sometimes be recycled (after cleaning) at your local auto repair shop
  • Electronics. Heavy metals are really toxic to the environment if disposed of improperly. You can get a list from the EPA on places to safely get rid of your electronic items
  • Mercury Thermometers. If the glass breaks and the mercury escapes, it can be very bad for the environment
  • Prescription Drugs. Don't flush down the toilet either. To find out how to properly get rid of your prescriptions, check out disposemymeds.org
  • Florescent Light Bulbs. They contain mercury, which we all know is bad for the environment. Take them to your local Household Hazardous waste facilty
  • Lawn Chemicals. Fertilizer, herbicides, and pesticides can be dangerous for the environment, and don't throw them down the drain either
  • Smoke Detectors. Ionization Chamber Smoke Detectors have a small amount of radioactive materials inside them, so be sure to take them to your local HHW facility to dispose.
  • Fireworks. This should be obvious, y'all. Before you get rid of those burnt fireworks, soak them for at least 24 hours in water, then wrap them in plastic in case they dry out. BE SAFE.
  • Tires. It's actually illegal to throw used tires in the trash. Most dealerships have a disposal or recycling program (for a fee)
  • Mothballs. These round little spheres are actually pesticides, so treat them as such when getting rid of them.
  • Asbestos. A huge health risk, and you need to rely on professionals to discard
  • Gasoline. Make sure you carefully pour any excess / leftover gas into a  government certified container. Extremely flammable and dangerous if not discarded properly. You can also contact your local fire dept before you throw out