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Old 04-29-2016, 03:53 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
One word: "Yardapult"

For those that don't remember (or don't have one) here's the video.
Watch Yard-a-pult From Saturday Night Live - NBC.com
The link didn't work for me but I found one that did work. It is funny:

Watch Saturday Night Live: Yard-A-Pult Online | Hulu
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:21 PM   #42
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The link didn't work for me but I found one that did work. It is funny:

Watch Saturday Night Live: Yard-A-Pult Online | Hulu
I cracked up when the dog went sailing over the fence.
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:33 PM   #43
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I cracked up when the dog went sailing over the fence.
So did I. Apparently we both need a refresher class in sensitivity training...
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:08 PM   #44
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The small amount of radioactive material that is used in these detectors is not a health hazard and individual units can be disposed of in normal household waste"
I'm not worried about the danger posed by the small amount of americium in the detectors, (though keeping it out of groundwater would be considerate). I'm more concerned about reducing the pollution caused by refining new americium for use in smoke detectors. It is gotten from spent nuclear fuel at the rate of about 100 grams per ton (per Wikipedia). The isotope in smoke detectors has a half-life of over 400 years, so it's still plenty radioactive and still useful for that purpose when the 10 year lifespan of the detector has expired. I don't know anything about the process needed to refine it from the spent fuel, but I'm pretty sure it involves use of electricity and that the process produces other stuff that must be gotten rid of, so I'd prefer to just get this little bit back to a manufacturer so it can be re-used rather than using more energy and producing more waste to make more.
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:29 PM   #45
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Tommorrow is Dumpster Day

Our neighborhood civic assoc arranges for the county to deliver 2 or 3 dumpsters to a nearby park. This occurs 2x per yr. Residents within a ~4 sq mile area can bring their bulky trash (no hazardous materials) for disposal. The 3rd dumpster is reserved for electronics and it fills up fast.

People bring all sorts of things including stuff that should really be going to goodwill and items that could easily go in the normal trash pickup. We have to ward off contractors trying to dispose of construction debris. This saves the county money theoretically because they would otherwise need to pick this stuff up individually (except most of it would just stay buried in people's basements and under their decks).

I usually volunteer to retrieve items from senior citizens upon request but this year I wanna be the guy with the sledge hammer busting things up so we can fit more into the dumpsters. There is a fair amount of scavenging that goes on and I am personally banned from bringing anymore "junk" back home (unless it is small enough to be undetected). We start around 8am and usually run out of space by 11.
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Old 04-29-2016, 08:59 PM   #46
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I'm not worried about the danger posed by the small amount of americium in the detectors, (though keeping it out of groundwater would be considerate). I'm more concerned about reducing the pollution caused by refining new americium for use in smoke detectors. It is gotten from spent nuclear fuel at the rate of about 100 grams per ton (per Wikipedia). The isotope in smoke detectors has a half-life of over 400 years, so it's still plenty radioactive and still useful for that purpose when the 10 year lifespan of the detector has expired. I don't know anything about the process needed to refine it from the spent fuel, but I'm pretty sure it involves use of electricity and that the process produces other stuff that must be gotten rid of, so I'd prefer to just get this little bit back to a manufacturer so it can be re-used rather than using more energy and producing more waste to make more.
That's a fair argument for not landfilling, I was assuming "not in the landfill" was a perception of potential harm to human health. Smoke detectors have been around a long time, I think it's surprising they are left out of convenient recycling programs if the material is recoverable and valuable.
Maybe detectors should cost a couple bucks more and include return mail packaging stored in the housing.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:16 PM   #47
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That's a fair argument for not landfilling, I was assuming "not in the landfill" was a perception of potential harm to human health. Smoke detectors have been around a long time, I think it's surprising they are left out of convenient recycling programs if the material is recoverable and valuable.
Maybe detectors should cost a couple bucks more and include return mail packaging stored in the housing.
Yes, it really doesn't add up to me that there is any significant cost to the material, or they would do as you say.

https://www3.epa.gov/radtown/docs/am...-detectors.pdf

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There is no health threat from ionization smoke detectors as long as the detector is not tampered with and it is used as directed. The tiny amount of americium used is encased in ceramic and foil. There are no special disposal instructions for ionization smoke detectors. They may be thrown away with household trash, however your community may have a separate recycling program.
But our county says they should not go in the trash.

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These types SHOULD NOT be disposed of through the regular trash. Please check the manufacturer’s website for mail-back programs/disposal options or information included in the device packaging (phone number and/or address).
It's not like mailing them is convenient, and it will cost me some money and time. For what? EPA says it is OK.

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Old 04-30-2016, 07:05 AM   #48
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Here in Austin, Goodwill accepts old electronics for disposal. There is a hazardous waste dropoff facility in town that's open several days a week. Beyond that, the city trash collection has certain days during the year where household "junk" is picked up. Finally, there are drug-dropoff days (like today!) where one can drop off unused and/or outdated medications of any kind with no questions asked.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:26 AM   #49
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I was dropping off stuff at the Salvation Army recently and they refused another person's offer of a CRT television. I've heard that it is getting hard to get rid of CRTs.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:57 AM   #50
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Paint cans of latex paint can be thrown in the trash if you add some cat litter first to soak it up.


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Or just let it dry. Our municipality accepts leftover paint if it's dried and thus inert. I'd hoped Habitat for Humanity would be interested in partly-used cans of paint but they weren't.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:13 AM   #51
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Or just let it dry. Our municipality accepts leftover paint if it's dried and thus inert. I'd hoped Habitat for Humanity would be interested in partly-used cans of paint but they weren't.
My local Habitat Restore has hundreds of partially used paint cans. They don't seem to sell.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:31 AM   #52
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I'm not sure all the reasons why municipalities won't deal with smoke detectors, except to say anything radioactive is a real pain to handle.

If you are really concerned, the manufacturers will take them. Contact them for instructions.

Finally, one of the most interesting articles I read was about a boy with scientific curiosity who tried to create a breeder reactor in his back yard. He failed, and managed to set off radiation detectors for hundreds of feet away from his shed. He probably also shortened his life. One of the main ingredients for his experiments? Old clock dials and smoke detectors. Anything like this concentrated is a bad idea. Check it out. It is an interesting read:

https://harpers.org/archive/1998/11/...ive-boy-scout/

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Their attention seemed to be focused on the back yard of the house next door, specifically on a large wooden potting shed that abutted the chain-link fence dividing her property from her neighbor’s. Three of the men had donned ventilated moon suits and were proceeding to dismantle the potting shed with electric saws, stuffing the pieces of wood into large steel drums emblazoned with radioactive warning signs.
...
To obtain americium-241, David contacted smoke-detector companies and claimed that he needed a large number of the devices for a school project. One company agreed to sell him about a hundred broken detectors for a dollar apiece. (He also tried to “collect” detectors while at scout camp.)
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Old 04-30-2016, 09:47 AM   #53
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I was dropping off stuff at the Salvation Army recently and they refused another person's offer of a CRT television. I've heard that it is getting hard to get rid of CRTs.
+1, especially larger CRTs. I have checked numerous charity websites and none of them accept large CRTs. Seems like the only option is taking it to a recycling center or a store like Best Buy that has a "large electronics" recycling program and then paying the recycling fee ($20 in my area). This can be tricky if the CRT is very heavy and bulky and you don't have a sufficiently large vehicle to transport it.
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Old 04-30-2016, 10:25 AM   #54
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There are quite a few recycling facilities here for used electronics - they are broke down recycled. We find that we can set a lot of stuff out by the curb and the local "scrappers" come by regularly to pick it up. In KS last week I asked about donating TV's to Goodwill and one other thift store and they both said no, but someone did give me a number/address for a private recycler...

I might try the Rescue Mission though as the items are in working order. They like to have anything that can be used to set up apartments for formerly homeless families. Since I have furniture to donate anyway, I think I will ask them when I call to get a pickup.

I confess that I have stuck smaller electronics in the bottom of the garbage even though you really are not supposed to. I figure that by the time all the trash in the neighborhood is picked up that they can't really figure out which house it came from anyway.....
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:00 AM   #55
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Our dump has a household waste exchange, and I find myself taking far more of other people's stuff than I contribute. I pick up lots of unused paint , oil and antifreeze for projects.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:56 PM   #56
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We find that we can set a lot of stuff out by the curb and the local "scrappers" come by regularly to pick it up.

Listing it on Craigslist under Free Stuff works even faster! Just put it at the end of your driveway and list your address. Take down the ad when it's gone.

In our previous town they had a Large Item Pickup Day every couple of years. I couldn't believe how many people came through with pickup trucks the evening before trolling for treasures!
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