E-Cigarettes Hazardous Waste Drop-Off E-Waste Drop-Off E-Cigarettes are e-waste comprised of a lithium ion battery, cartridge holding the flavored nicotine “vape” juice, and a heating element. Nicotine is considered an acute hazardous waste, and should not be disposed of in the trash. Lithium batteries and heating elements if not reusable or rechargeable should be treated as e-waste and kept out of trash, recycling and/or organics stream. FDA Advice on Vape Disposal The FDA states that all e-cigarette waste and e-liquid waste should be handled as household hazardous waste (HHW). They offer the following guidance: Check with state and local resources for regulations and hazardous waste collection sites. Seal used vapes and keep no longer than 90 days before disposal. Do not rinse e-liquid from cartridges — it will contaminate water. Avoid getting e-liquid on skin, as it can be toxic. Keep vapes away from kids and pets — the nicotine can be poisonous. Source: Earth911.com MANUFACTURER TAKE BACK PROGRAM: If your favorite brand doesn’t offer a takeback program for recycling their spent vape products, ask the company to provide one. E-Liquid Is Hazardous Waste E-liquid contains liquid nicotine, which is a harsh chemical and hazardous waste. If you have leftover e-liquid, do not pour it down the drain. Dispose of it as hazardous waste. Batteries, Chargers and Atomizers Are E-Waste The batteries, chargers and atomizers of e-cigarettes contain nonrenewable metals and chemicals that are toxic to landfills, so recycle them as e-waste. Find out how to properly dispose of e-waste. Clean Cartridge Before Tossing Cartridges contain traces of nicotine, so they must be disposed of carefully. Remove the cartridge filler, rinse it in water, and wrap it in something biodegradable. Then rinse the cartridge and plug it with the original plug. Throw both in the trash. Ways to Reduce Refill Cartridges Yourself Instead of using disposable cartridges, use refillable cartridges or an e-cig tank so that you create less waste. Be sure to follow product instructions and wear gloves when handling liquid nicotine. Did You Know? Are E-Cigarettes More Eco-Friendly? Many e-cigarette manufacturers claim their product is an environmental solution to traditional cigarettes, because e-cigarettes can be reused and certain parts can be recycled. But are they really better? It’s not yet clear, but e-cigarettes introduce new problems with pollution in their manufacturing and disposal. Read more from Recycle Nation and the National Center for Biotechnology Information.