Ever wonder what to do with those empty compressed gas cylinders just sitting and taking up space in your garage? Well, there is a proper way to either recycle those cylinders if they are no longer being used.
When purchasing gases, some people choose to rent their gas cylinders. In that case, you would then have to return the cylinder to the place you rented it from when the cylinder is empty. If you need to continue ordering more gas, then you can get it refilled. But, when the cylinder no longer serves a purpose and you own it, then that’s where we come in to make sure you know exactly what to do with them.
How to Properly and Safely Recycle a Cylinder
When disposing of gas cylinders, never throw them away in the trash. Simply throwing them away in the dumpster is not the best idea as some of those tanks could have potential residual toxic gases in them. Without knowing what’s already in the dumpster, you never know what those gases can potentially react with. Depending on what area you live in, your compressed gas cylinders can be classified as hazardous and will require you to recycle them properly.
If the cylinder is in good enough condition it can be recertified following DOT regulations. If it requires decontamination, it may need to be taken to a DOT authorized facility to get those services provided.
Before getting rid of any cylinders, you must do your research and identify if it counts as hazardous waste in your city. Each state has different regulations so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the regulations in your area.
In some areas, empty gas cylinders can be recycled with other scrap metals, but some areas will classify them as hazardous wastes. This will require you to take the cylinder to the proper recycling center.
Locating the nearest recycling facility in your area should be your next step. This should be narrowed down to facilities that accept gas cylinders as not all of them do. Sometimes it’ll be your local gas supplier that can handle the recycling for you or they can provide you with information on where to recycle them.
It is also very important to identify the type of gas that the cylinder was holding, especially if there is still any remaining gas in the cylinder itself. If there is no way to tell what gas it was, some facilities may be able to identify them for you, but any unidentified gas should ideally be handled as if they are the most hazardous materials.
Once you locate a facility that can recycle them for you, then you have done your part. And for the facilities that recycle them, they are also helping in reducing their environmental footprint.
Why It’s Important
Safety is one of the top reasons why you should recycle your gas cylinders. Even empty gas cylinders can potentially create a hazardous environment if the valve is left open. With temperature changes in the atmosphere and pressure drops, any residual gas can be pushed out.
Depending on what type of gas is released and how much of it can become dangerous. While gas can leak out, air could also make its way into the cylinder and cause internal damage to the cylinder itself or cause the cylinder to be contaminated and could also cause internal corrosion.
A rule of thumb to remember is to always treat an empty cylinder like it’s full. Make sure you clearly label your empty cylinders, check to see if the valve is closed and store them away from your full cylinders.
Please make sure to also let whoever you return it to if there are any damages or if the cylinder was exposed to anything that could cause contamination. Typically, the person or company recycling the cylinders will check, but it’s always safer to make sure they are aware.
Recycle Your Cylinders at Wagner Welding Supply
Here at Wagner Welding Supply, we make a conscious effort to recycle any unused cylinders properly. Our customer’s safety is very important and we want to make sure people are aware of what to do with any empty cylinders they may have at home and how to properly recycle them.
If you need to recycle any cylinders we will happily take them off your hands. Please note that if the cylinder contains any type of poison gas or refrigerants, we cannot accept them. You will have to go through your local city to find out how to dispose of hazardous waste. The same applies to disposable propane cylinders.
If you have a press foot cylinder, we can recycle those for you, but we would have to charge a fee to recycle them depending on its condition.
Press foot cylinders are a style of acetylene cylinders that have a cap pressed onto the bottom of the cylinder. These are tricky cylinders because moisture can get between the layers of metal and rust out without any ability to detect it before a catastrophic failure. This is the only time you would be charged to recycle a cylinder with us if it’s condition is not optimal. All other compressed cylinders we can take care of.
We also provide cylinder repair and testing services at our facility. If you have a cylinder that needs testing or repairs, our experts are trained in cylinder examination following DOTs regulation. Don’t hesitate to stop by our location in Longmont or give us a call at (303) 776-1491 if you have any questions.