I am sometimes guilty of not throwing enough stuff away as the phrase "pack rat" has been used to describe me. However, I'm safer than most in Missouri as there is a long list of things you can't legally throw away without facing consequences if you're caught.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has some very good reasons why you shouldn't throw away some items. Many have chemicals and/or components which can be damaging to the environment, people, animals or all of the above. Here's their list of things you can't throw away without violating laws:

  1. Antifreeze
  2. Televisions
  3. DVD players
  4. VCR players
  5. Digital cameras
  6. Gaming consoles
  7. Stereos
  8. Answering machines
  9. Printers
  10. Batteries
  11. Cleaning products
  12. Paint remover
  13. Fluorescent tubes and light bulbs
  14. Paint
  15. Thermometers with mercury in them
  16. Solar panels
  17. Pharmaceutical drugs

There are little caveats with some of these items that can be safely disposed of using a specific method. As you might guess, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources recommends recycling whenever possible. Almost all electronics are accepted by many places and some will even pay you for items even if they don't work anymore.

Some items like antifreeze and paint remover can be downright dangerous. The rule of thumb is that if something is potentially flammable, it's a big no-no for throwing in the trash.

If you have questions, best idea is to check the Missouri Department of Natural Resources site and/or talk to your trash pickup provider. Many can make arrangements to safely haul away your unneeded/unwanted items.

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