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Missoula Valley Water Quality District
(406) 258-4890
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Missoula Valley Water Quality District

Department: Water Quality District
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Water Quality District - Hazardous Waste


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Smoke Detectors

What is the Problem?

Two types of smoke detectors exist, photoelectronic and ionizing. Both types of detectors contain electronic circuit boards, and in some cases, alkaline or lithium batteries. Also, ionizing smoke detectors contain a small amount of radioactive material. The amount of Americum 241 used in smoke detectors is so small, that detectors can be safely disposed of in your regular trash, according to numerous agencies including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and the Department of Energy.

Safety Tips

Disposal Options

Dispose - Ionizing Smoke Detectors:

Dispose - Photoelectronic Smoke Detectors::

The Residential Disposal Guide is provided by the Missoula Valley Water Quality District as a public service and is not an endorsement of specific businesses, services or products. Any omissions or inaccuracies are unintentional. Please contact us with corrections or additions. Call businesses or agencies to confirm hours, locations and charges for services, if any. For information on disposal of items not listed, email or call the Water Quality District at 406-258-4890, M - F, 8 am to 5 pm.

Much of the information provided is from the Washington County, MN, Dept. of Public Health and Environment website.

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