Smoke detector disposal

Most domestic smoke detectors cannot be recycled. Ensure you dispose of your detectors correctly.

Domestic ionisation chamber smoke detectors (ICSDs) contain a very small quantity of radioactive material, and can be identified by their markings – they will have the word “radioactive” or a radiation symbol (trefoil) marked on them.

These types of smoke detector are not able to be recycled. The safest way to manage these smoke detectors is by distributing small numbers of them within large amounts of general waste.

The small amount of radioactive material in ICSDs is not a health or environmental hazard if disposed of safely by:

  • removing the battery from the ICSD
  • placing the intact ICSD in the general waste bin.

Domestic smoke detectors do not need to be collected and returned to suppliers or health department radiation protection authorities.

Further information is available in the Statement on Disposal of Domestic Smoke Detectors published by the Australian Government’s Radiation Health Committee.