You may be surprised to find out that these household items are not allowed in your trash bin.

We all know that certain hazardous items are illegal to toss in the garbage. Household cleaners, motor oil, pool chemicals and more are obviously forbidden from being put out with the trash.  But there are some items that most Hudson Valley residents don't realize are forbidden from being thrown away, Could you be breaking the law without even knowing it?

A list from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation contains some household products that most people throw in the trash without a thought.

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Aerosol Containers
It doesn't matter what's in that aerosol can. Whether it's cleaning chemicals, deodorant, spray paint or even Cheeze Whiz; it's illegal to throw out a full aerosol can. The DEC requires homeowners to completely empty an aerosol can before throwing it away. Otherwise, the pressurized contents could explode when exposed to extreme heat or pressure.


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Raffi Alexander

Most Electronics
New York made it illegal in 2015 to throw away most household electronic devices. Some of the banned items are not immediately thought of as dangerous, leading residents to toss them in the trash even though it's against the law to do so.  Lead, mercury, cadmium and other hazardous materials may be lurking in even the most innocent looking items like keyboards or that computer mouse. Banned items include computers, televisions, monitors, electronic keyboards, electronic mice, document scanners, and printers,VCRs, digital video recorders, portable digital music players, DVD players, digital converter boxes, cable or satellite receivers,and video game consoles.


Brian Chase

Prescription medication shouldn't be thrown out. It's also not a good idea to flush it down the toilet since it's been revealed that many medications pass through water treatment plants and contaminate our drinking water. The DEC has suggestions on how to dispose of those old pills on their website.


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Household batteries can contain mercury, silver, lithium, cadmium, nickel and other highly hazardous substances. The NYS Rechargeable Battery Recycling Act was signed in 2010 making it illegal to throw away rechargeable batteries. Manufactures accept them for recycling at most retail stores.


Kevin Visel

Smoke Detectors
Some smoke detectors contain small amounts of radioactive material to identify the smoke from a fire. While it's ok to throw away a single detector, filling your garbage with multiple detectors is against state regulations.


Brush and bright oil-paint palette for background

If you've got some cans of used paint lying around it may be tempting to toss them in the trash. Unfortunately, it's against the law to throw away any amount of liquid paint or stain. Luckily, there is an easy way to dispose of used paint legally. If you can convert the paint to a solid by mixing it with kitty litter or another clumping sold, then it's perfectly fine to toss in the trash.


Steve Lenz

Flea Collars and Bug Spray
Most people know that pesticides are illegal to dump in the trash. Even empty containers need to be triple washed before being tossed into the recycle bin. But most people don't realize that bug repellants such as sprays and flea collars are also not allowed in the trash. They should be disposed of safely with other hazardous waste.


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Wavebreakmedia Ltd

Light Bulbs
Compact fluorescent bulbs are everywhere now, but one place that they shouldn't be is in your trash bin. Home improvement stores recycle the bulbs for free. Larger fluorescent tubes and transformers could contain mercury and should be brought to a hazardous waste recycling plant.


Michael Smit/Getty Images
Michael Smit/Getty Images

Exploding fireworks are illegal in New York to begin with, but disposing of them in the trash is also a crime.


If you have any questions about disposing of chemicals or other hazards in your home you can contact the DEC for more information about recycling programs in your community.