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Fire Extinguisher Disposal For Individuals

Old and redundant fire extinguishers are full of pressurised chemicals, and they can be a potential threat to persons, buildings and the environment. You must dispose of them correctly and ethically.

Do not put old / unwanted fire extinguishers in domestic or commercial waste bins.

We cannot accept old or unwanted fire extinguishers for disposal.

Fire Extinguisher Disposal For Individuals

Typically, one or two standard sized fire extinguishers (up to 2kg or 3 litres) per household, can be taken to your local manned refuse recycling centre.  It is advisable to check with your local recycling centre to confirm their waste acceptance policy in relation to fire extinguishers. 

You may need to take certain steps to make sure the extinguishers are safe. If the fire extinguishers are not empty, you may be required to empty them prior to disposal – Please refer below.

Alternatively arrange for disposal by a recognised and licensed disposal company, who will make them safe before removing them.  Make sure you get a Waste Transfer Note as proof that you have used a licensed company.  

If you allow the removal of old fire extinguishers from your possession by a person or company who does not hold a valid waste licence, you as the original extinguisher owner could be prosecuted for not using a licence holder.

How do you safely empty a fire extinguisher?

There are different types of fire extinguishers available which contain chemicals that are specifically designed to put out various types of fires. 

The contents of some fire extinguishers can be toxic to the environment, so they have to be removed from the extinguisher and disposed of in the correct manner.

  • Powder – this type requires specialist disposal.
  • Foam – this type can be dispensed into a sewer drain (not rainwater drain).
  • CO2 – this type can be dispersed into the air.
  • Water – this type can be dispensed into a drain.
  • Halon Fire Extinguishers – Dispose of these as soon as possible.  Halon fire extinguishers are now illegal to either possess or to use (except for aviation and military use), and you are required to take any existing halon fire extinguishers to your local authority recycling centre for safe disposal or arrange for their disposal by a licensed waste carrier.

Always follow the safety instructions printed on the cannister when discharging the contents of a fire extinguisher.