How to Safely Dispose of Batteries, Motor Oil, Paint & Ink Cartridges

While you might throw used batteries into your wastebasket along with your food and junk mail, this small part of the trash poses a huge environmental hazard. In this article, we’ll show you how to properly dispose of things such as batteries, used car oil and medicine. Do your part to make our earth healthier for future generations! All it takes is a little more forethought.

Every day, the average American throws away 4 pounds of garbage into the landfill. Some cities average much higher, with some-like Houston, Texas-throwing away 8.2 pounds of garbage every day (source). By the end of the year, that comes out to almost 3 tons of trash going straight to our nation’s landfills.

All this trash is bad enough, as non-biodegradable objects like metal and plastic linger on in our soil forever. Other trash disposal methods, like flushing medicine down the toilet or pouring used car and motor oil into storm drainage ditches, are even worse. This sort of disposal leeches toxic chemicals right into our drinking water, or into our lakes, rivers and oceans where they kill plants and animals without mercy.

Here’s how to get rid of common household trash in a way that’s totally “green” and keeps our planet beautiful!

How to throw away printer ink cartridges:

All major stores that sell ink cartridges, including Costco and Office Max, will recycle your used ink and toner cartridges for free. Take your empty cartridges to the store and drop them into the prominently-marked recycling containers. You can also find ink cartridge recycling services on the online by searching the Internet.

How to throw away used batteries:

Batteries contain all sorts of harsh chemicals and toxic poisons. If you throw them away, they’ll end up leaking these harmful chemicals into our earth’s soil and drinking water. Instead of tossing them, recycle them! Most government counties will direct you to local facilities that allow you to drop off batteries. Other merchants will often recycle them for you (for example, some Save On Foods stores in Canada will take your used batteries and recycle them).

Depending on the battery, you might also be able to return it to the manufacturer. For example, Apple Computers ( will recycle any iPod, laptop (including MacBooks and MacBook Airs) or desktop computer batteries.

How to safely throw away medicine:

These are easy. Just take your old medicine to your drug store or pharmacy and ask them to throw it away for you!

How to throw away old paint:

Got some leftover paint after the latest home remodeling job or living room makeover? Don’t pour the paint into storm drainage ditches or any outdoor disposals. The best way to throw out oil paints is to drop them off at your county government’s proper site. As for latex paints, let them dry in the can and toss the whole thing once they are hard.

How to throw away motor oil:

Easy. Simply pour your used motor oil into a canister and take them to a recycling auto shop or landfill. A search in the phone book will usually tell you what auto shops or landfills accept used motor oil for recycling purposes.

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