Calibration gas cylinders can’t be stored indefinitely, as specialty gases have a limited shelf life; however, it’s important to know how to properly recycle disposable cylinders. Sometimes you can simply empty the cylinders and ship them back to the original manufacturer so that they can be reused, but more often than not you’ll need to dispose of them yourself, preferably by recycling them.
While the gases found in disposable calibration gas cylinders aren’t harmful at their current levels, and typically won’t pose a threat on their own, the compression that occurs within the cylinder can be hazardous if exposed to the wrong conditions. Because of this, disposable cylinders require a couple of safety measures before they can be properly recycled.
How To Properly Recycle Disposable Cylinders
- Release The Gas. Firstly, begin by releasing all of the pressure from the cylinder. You can do this by slowly draining the gas with a flow regulator. Make sure that the area you are in is well ventilated to prevent any gas from building up or becoming too concentrated.
- Remove The Pin. By using a cylinder recycling tool, push the valve stem into the cylinder. This step indicated that the container is empty and unable to maintain pressure. It’s important to note that this step should never be used on a reusable container as it will simply ruin the cylinder making it unable to function properly. Additionally, the recycling tool you’ll need is available in with both male and female threads; make sure you have the right time before proceeding. While using this tool, thread it into the cylinder, until the stem falls.
- Mark The Cylinder. While it may not be crucial, you should always try and mark the outside of the canister by writing “empty” on the side. This helps better identify that the canister isn’t containing any hazardous gases. Even with the pin removed, this step makes it easier to spot without examination.
- Disposal. When all of these steps are done, you are clear to either ship the container back to the manufacturer, or recycle it as required by your local regulations. If you’re unsure of what your local guidelines are, make sure to read up on the topic just to make sure you’re not accidentally missing an important step.
When recycling disposable canisters, it’s important to follow the steps above to ensure both safety and proper disposal. Always make sure the gas is removed, and that the pin is safely inside the container before proceeding to get rid of the cylinders. Additionally, make yourself aware of any local or state regulations that may stipulate specific disposal requirements. If you have any questions, you can contact your local waste disposal office or the manufacturer of your cylinders.