NYC Resources 311 Office of the Mayor
Newsletter Signup Printer Friendly Email a Friend Translate This Page
Text Size: A A A
NYC - recycle more, waste less New York City Recycles NYC Department of Sanitation
Pressurized Gas Tanks

illustration: Pressurized Gas TanksShare/Bookmark    

Do not place gas cylinders such as propane tanks or fire extinguishers in your trash or recycling container. These items can explode in Department of Sanitation compactor trucks and cause serious injury or damage to Sanitation workers and equipment. Even if you believe the tank is empty, it may still contain vapors that make it an explosion hazard. Gas tanks can be taken to upcoming NYC Department of Sanitation SAFE disposal events.

barbecue propane tanks
disposable helium tanks
fire extinguishers
other gas cylinders

ALSO SEE:
harmful products handling tips


Barbecue Propane Tanks

The Department of Sanitation will not pickup propane tanks because they are pressurized and may explode when compressed in a truck. Visit the NYC Fire Department's barbecue safety page leaving NYCWasteLess for more information on the use of propane tanks.

Do not store tanks in your home or near flames and sources of heat.

Exchange your empty propane tank for a full tank at any local propane
tank dealer.
If you are not exchanging your tank, ask the dealer to dispose of it properly. Search the phone book or internet for “Barbecue Equipment & Supplies Retail” or “Propane and Natural Gas.” Propane dealers are more equipped to handle many types of propane tanks, as opposed to hardware stores who can only handle standard propane tanks. Call ahead to ensure that the dealers you find are willing to accept your tank; there may be a small fee associated.

Scrap metal dealers may also be equipped to handle these materials. Search the phone book or internet for "Scrap Metals."

back to top


Disposable Helium Balloon Tanks

The Department of Sanitation will not pickup helium tanks with valves in place because they are pressurized and may explode when compressed in a truck.

To dispose of portable helium balloon tanks, empty the tank, remove the valve from the container, and place it for recycling with your metal, glass, plastic, and cartons. Check instructions for removing the valve leaving NYCWasteLess. DO NOT place the tank in your recycling bin without removing the valve.

Scrap metal dealers may also be equipped to handle these materials. Search the phone book or internet for "Scrap Metals."

back to top


Fire Extinguishers

The Department of Sanitation will not pickup fire extinguishers unless the head is removed because they are pressurized and may explode when compressed in a truck.

The two most common types include dry chemical (sodium bicarbonate or monoammonium phosphate) and carbon dioxide (CO2) both of which are not hazardous.

dry chemical extinguishers
carbon dioxide extinguishers
other extinguishers

DRY CHEMICAL EXTINGUISHERS

To safely dispose of dry chemical extinguishers, it is necessary to relieve the pressure, remove the head, and place it for recycling with your metal, glass, plastic, and cartons.

When relieving the pressure (emptying the container) for disposal, review manufacturers' instructions, or, if unavailable, use the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) PASS technique leaving NYCWasteLess described below:

Pull the pin: this unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher. Some extinguishers may have other seals or tamper indicators.

Aim low: Point the extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the item.

Squeeze the lever above the handle: this discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge. (Some extinguishers have a button instead of a lever.)

Sweep from side to side

After pressure has been relieved, (when nothing else comes out) remove the head from the fire extinguisher and place it for recycling with your metal, glass, plastic, and cartons. DO NOT place the fire extinguisher in your recycling bin without removing the head.

You can contact a local fire extinguisher retailer to request that they dispose of your extinguisher. Visit the NYC Fire Department's FAQs about fire extinguishers leaving NYCWasteLess to find a list of fire extinguisher vendors leaving NYCWasteLess.

Fire extinguishers can also be taken to an upcoming NYC Department of Sanitation SAFE Disposal Event.

CARBON DIOXIDE EXTINGUISHERS

Carbon dioxide extinguishers are refillable and should be refilled after each use. Contact a local fire extinguisher retailer to request that they refill or dispose of your extinguisher. Visit the NYC Fire Department's FAQs about fire extinguishers leaving NYCWasteLess to find a list of fire extinguisher vendors leaving NYCWasteLess.

To safely dispose of carbon dioxide extinguishers, it is necessary to relieve the pressure, drill holes in the cylinder, and place it in your trash.

When relieving the pressure (emptying the container) for disposal, review manufacturers' instructions, or, if unavailable, use the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) PASS technique leaving NYCWasteLess described below:

Pull the pin: this unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher. Some extinguishers may have other seals or tamper indicators.

Aim low: Point the extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the item.

Squeeze the lever above the handle: this discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge. (Some extinguishers have a button instead of a lever.)

Sweep from side to side.  

It is important to empty the contents, outside, away from children or pets because Monoammonium phosphate (contained within) is an irritant to eyes and the respiratory tract. Wear goggles and a particulate mask when discharging the extinguisher.

OTHER FIRE EXTINGUISHERS 

Fire extinguishers that are not dry chemical or carbon dioxide must be disposed of by a qualified vendor.

Do not attempt to relieve the pressure and remove the head as very old fire extinguishers may contain carbon tetrachloride, a known carcinogen.

Contact a local fire extinguisher retailer to request that they dispose of your extinguisher. Visit the NYC Fire Department's FAQs about fire extinguishers leaving NYCWasteLess to find a list of fire extinguisher vendors leaving NYCWasteLess.

back to top


Other Pressurized Gas Cylinders

The Department of Sanitation will not pickup pressurized gas cylinders because they are pressurized and may explode when compressed in a truck.

Exchange your old pressurized gas cylinder (such as acetylene or oxygen) when purchasing a new cylinder.

If the retailer refuses to accept your old pressurized gas cylinder or you are not purchasing a new one, contact another dealer about correctly disposing your cylinder. Search the phone book or internet for “welding equipment and supplies.” Call ahead to ensure that the dealers you find are willing to accept your cylinder; there may be a small fee associated.

Scrap metal dealers may also be equipped to handle these materials. Search the phone book or internet for "Scrap Metals."

back to top

Site Map

Copyright 2013 The City of New York Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use