At the end of a beacon’s service life, it must be disposed of carefully to prevent false alerts. False alerts could divert limited search-and-rescue resources from a real emergency, putting other lives at risk.
If you decide to dispose of an old, unneeded beacon you need to be careful to take certain steps. Do NOT merely toss the beacon in a garbage or rubbish bin. If you do this, over time the casing and electronics could degrade, possibly causing the beacon to begin transmitting a false alert from, for example, a garbage heap. Instead you must have the battery removed, you must have the beacon clearly labeled on the outside that it has been deactivated (so that no one mistakenly tries to use it in a real emergency), AND you must update your information in the registration database to indicate that you have disposed of the beacon.
Beacon batteries contain chemically-aggressive substances which could be hazardous to the environment and cause injury. Always handle batteries in accordance with manufacturer instructions and local disposal regulations.
When possible, the components of your old beacon and old beacon batteries should be recycled at an appropriate recycling facility. For more specific advice consult the beacon manufacturer using contact information in the user manual. You also may find contact information for beacon manufacturers on the "Contact Lists" tab of our Professionals home page.