Fire Extinguisher Recycling & Disposal

Why Recycle Fire Extinguisher

As you can imagine, the contents of fire extinguishers do raise some concerns. To begin with, they are under some intense pressure (150 to 195 PSI on average). To give a comparison, that is 3-5x the pressure of the average car tire. A premature or unintended release of contents could be harmful or even fatal.

The contents themselves most often have either very high or very low PH levels making them corrosive and harmful to both organic and inorganic materials. For this reason, it is not legal in many states, including California, to dispose of them in the normal waste.

The overwhelming majority of fire extinguisher cannisters are made of either steel or aluminum making them easy to recycle. However, they must be completely empty and many recyclers want them cut in half to prove they are empty. It is not uncommon for there to be residual contents when depressurized, if the fire extinguisher is in any way dysfunctional or substandard. The process for ensuring they are empty can be tedious and time consuming.

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Sample Process

First the contents must be emptied from each extinguisher and captured in drums. This involves blowing the contents into a collection system, repressurizing the fire extinguisher and blowing it out again. This cycle must repeat several times to get all the contents out. Once the contents are removed, the fire extinguisher can be disassembled and checked again for contents.

The empty cannisters can be taken to a metal recycler for smelting. The contents of the fire extinguishers are captured in 55-gallon drums and disposed of in accordance with California regulatory requirements.

How Can Modern Waste Help?

Modern Waste makes it simple for you to have comprehensive and compliant fire extinguisher disposal and recycling services that adhere to all applicable local, state and federal rules and guidelines.

  1. 1. We will provide the equipment you need
  2. 2. We will train you on what you need to know
  3. 3. We will come to you to pick up (or you can drop off)
  4. 4. We will record what we receive from you in our database
  5. 5. We will shred, wipe, recycle or dispose of your waste
  6. 6. We will provide certificates and reports as needed

Contact us today to speak to a specialist that can help you custom make a program that best suits your organization’s needs.

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