Did you know that spent oxygen tanks are dangerous to handle and potentially explosive? Here’s how to dispose of an oxygen tank.
Oxygen tanks are devices used to store and transport oxygen. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors.
Oxygen tanks are used in hospitals and other medical facilities to provide oxygen to patients who need it, like those with respiratory issues or heart problems.
While these portable containers were initially made of heavy metal, today they’re usually made of lighter materials like aluminum or plastic.
What should you do with an oxygen tank after you are finished using it? Put it in a landfill? Bury it in the backyard?
I’ll explain how to dispose of oxygen tanks properly!
- Why do you need to dispose of oxygen tanks properly?
- How to dispose of oxygen tanks
- What you should not do to dispose of oxygen tanks
Why do you need to dispose of oxygen tanks properly?
1. They are flammable
An oxygen tank is a highly flammable object that can be dangerous if not handled correctly.
They contain hundreds of liters of highly flammable pressurized oxygen gas.
When they are exposed, to a flame, a spark, or anything else that could cause an explosion, they could be in for a serious injury or even death.
2. They are not biodegradable
Oxygen tanks are not biodegradable. That means if you leave them, they will be there forever and ever, along with all the other garbage you’re leaving behind.
They contain compounds such as copper, iron, and aluminum. These compounds can harm the environment when they are released into the water supply.
How to dispose of oxygen tanks
It’s crucial that you don’t try to dispose of oxygen tanks on your own; they pose a serious hazard if they aren’t dealt with correctly.
1. Call local medical waste disposal companies
Call local medical waste disposal companies to dispose of oxygen tanks.
Local law covers these organizations, and they have licenses and permissions to ensure that the process is safe for the environment while recycling your oxygen tanks.
They will come out and pick up the tanks from your home and make sure the tanks are disposed of safely so they won’t end up in the landfill.
Most facilities will accept oxygen tanks for free. If your nearest facility charges a fee for disposing of them, you can always find an alternative by searching online or asking around.
2. Call your oxygen supplier
Call an oxygen supplier if you need to dispose of oxygen tanks. They are the ones who are qualified to handle them.
Either they’ll come and dispose of it for you, or they’ll give you instructions on how to do it yourself.
Another option to dispose of oxygen tanks properly is by calling your local waste authority.
They will be able to tell you what is the best way to get rid of it in environmental regulations.
Some areas have special programs for disposing of hazardous materials including oxygen tanks.
4. Contact your local fire department
The next time you need to get rid of an oxygen tank, consider contacting your local fire department.
While the tanks are highly regulated by the government and cannot be disposed of in the regular trash, the local fire department can help you with its disposal.
Local fire departments have the service to dispose of these containers for free. The officer will come to your house and pick up the tank for you.
5. Donate it
Donate your oxygen tanks to a hospital, local health facility, or charity organization if you want to get rid of them. There are many communities that will accept them.
Your old oxygen tanks will have good use. Also, it is great to help people who need it. An oxygen tank is an essential medical treatment for some people.
These tanks will go on to provide much-needed oxygen to people who are struggling with life-threatening illnesses but can’t afford an oxygen tank.
The oxygen tanks are expensive and space is limited for private hospitals, so donating is the best way to ensure that your tanks will be put to good use.
6. Sell it
Selling your oxygen tank is a great way to get rid of it.
You can do it in a number of ways:
- Post an advertisement on the local Facebook group. There are a lot of people who are looking for used oxygen tanks. Check your local Facebook group or page.
- The second way is to sell it to the nearest medical facility. Just go to your local medical facility and ask them if they want to buy it or not. They might need it too.
- You can also put an ad on eBay or Craigslist.
7. Take it to the recycling center
The recycling center is a great solution to dispose of oxygen tanks.
This place has enough facilities to recycle almost any materials, including oxygen tanks. By doing this, you are returning it to experts who know how to properly manage it.
They have special equipment that can separate out the different components so each of them can be recycled separately.
The whole process is much more efficient than trying to do it yourself at home, so don’t make this dangerous mistake.
The recycling center is a good place to dispose of mop water or laptop charger.
What you should not do to dispose of oxygen tanks
1. Do not burn it
When you want to dispose of oxygen tanks, do not burn them. It will only cause a big mess.
Oxygen tanks can be a fire hazard in many situations. Burning an oxygen tank, whether it is full or empty, has the potential to cause a dangerous explosion.
If you do not want to see your oxygen tank explode or catch fire when you burn it, then make sure you do not burn it.
2. Dump it in the landfill
Dumping oxygen tanks in landfills is a terrible idea. it can be dangerous to the environment and wildlife.
Oxygen tanks contain highly flammable gas and have been known to explode when exposed to fire.
This is why they are shipped with a shipping label that warns against throwing them in a dumpster or trash can.
Oxygen tanks are part of a healthcare system that can be labyrinthine in their complexity.
If you no longer need your oxygen tank, it’s important to properly dispose of it to prevent harsh chemicals from entering the environment.
Here are some ways how to dispose of oxygen tank safely:
- Call local medical waste disposal companies
- Call your oxygen supplier
- Call your local waste authority
- Contact your local fire department
- Donate it
- Sell it
- Take it to the recycling center
If you want to dispose of an old motorcycle helmet, you can read my other tips!