Can you dispose of Fire Extinguishers?
Although you might think fire extinguishers are pretty simple devices, they do sometimes contain chemicals and, of course, are usually pressurised. This means they have to be treated as Hazardous Waste. This explosion in London shows what happens when they are added to regular waste. Yes Waste can collect and dispose of them for homes and business across Yorkshire.
Some Fire Extinguishers should be disposed of now
Fire Extinguishers have a shelf life of 3 – 12 years. You can check the age of your extinguisher by looking for a date on the bottom.
Additionally, Fire Authorities recommend you check your Fire Extinguisher for signs of damage regularly, and recharge them (where appropriate) at least every six years.
Some Fire Extinguishers which use halon have been banned in the UK since 2003, due to the effect on the Ozone Layer. Any which are still in use are likely to be out of date, although certain exemptions exist.
What happens if you can’t reuse the fire extinguisher, or if its out of date?
Household Fire Extinguishers
If you have a fire extinguisher at home or in the car and it is at the end of its life, it will have to be disposed of. You should not put it in household waste, as it may still be under pressure or contain chemicals. It is also possible to recycle at least some of the parts, so sending it to landfill is unnecessary.
Business Fire Extinguishers
Businesses have a Waste Duty of Care, so have to make sure that all waste is correctly dealt with. For businesses in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire this could mean asking Yes Waste to remove used and out of date Fire Extinguishers.
How Fire Extinguishers are recycled
Fire Extinguishers are typically made of metal which can be recovered, but only after the plastic has been removed and any chemicals removed. The powder in ABC Powder-filled extinguishers is biodegradable, but AFFF foams should not be discharged into water courses as it is harmful to the environment.
In any case, the pressure element means that fire extinguishers will have to be sent to specialist extractors. Yes Waste has a number of partners who can do this safely and with no harm to the environment.
Let Yes Waste help
If you have any questions about your old Fire Extinguisher, please get in touch. We’ll be happy to answer any queries, and can come and collect any old ones promptly.