I have several keys on my chain that I do not need any more, so I'm thinking about throwing them away, but I'm not sure if it is okay to throw away in the regular household trash. I looked it up to see what are keys made of and I see that it's usually nickel-plated brass, sometimes with silver in the mix (see here and here for example). Is there any environmental harm in throwing away such keys in the trash?

(I am guessing that due to the small size and mass of a key, it would probably not have a significant impact anyway, but I want to know the proper answer nonetheless)

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    $\begingroup$ For security reasons I wouldn't throw them in your home trash. Even though the keys may not fit your house, do you want some dumpster diver to try? Slip them quietly into in a public trash can with no ID on the keys. The dump is a witch's stew of nasty stuff. Batteries, electronics with Pb/Sn solder, old cans of paint, and left over bug spray. A metal key is a nothing in comparison. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Jul 17 '18 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ Environmental is relative. Compared to recycling it is not as environmental but as MaxW said compared to what gets put in the dump everyday its okay. $\endgroup$ – A.K. Jul 17 '18 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ Depends on where you live. Civilised countries don't just dump their waste in landfills, but sort and treat it, and getting out any solid metal is the first thing to do. It's also profitable. $\endgroup$ – Karl Jul 17 '18 at 18:20
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    $\begingroup$ The question's asking for facts or scientific expertise in helping determine if "there (is) any environmental harm in throwing away such keys in the trash?", which is contrary to the POB close vote. $\endgroup$ – Gaurang Tandon Jul 18 '18 at 2:33

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