Most smoke detectors contain a small amount of Americium 241, a radioactive material. Americium is an alpha emitter, which does not travel very far, even in air. Nonetheless, do not open the insides of a smoke detector, as that could remove the shielding, possibly exposing you to levels above background. Vermont residents may dispose of smoke detectors as trash.
There are also recycling options available. Curie Environmental Services offers smoke alarm recycling known as CuriePack, which is a mail back program for ionizing smoke alarms. Via self-shipping, CuriePack offers an economical solution for these environmentally sensitive devices. More information can be found on the Curie Services website.
Businesses with smoke detectors should call the Vermont Environmental Assistance Division in Waterbury, at 1-800-974-9559, to receive information about proper disposal.
The fee associated with your town drop-off or curbside collection service applies for this item.