Disposal of empty helium cylinders

 Disposal of empty helium cylinders: From browsing Google, there seems to be a lot of confusion on how to dispose of empty helium gas cylinders. Does Science ASSIST have any protocols or suggestions?

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Publication Date: 29 July 2015
Asked By: Anonymous
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Disposal of empty Helium Cylinders

Gas cylinders are usually owned by the companies that provide them. Generally, arrangements should be made with the supplier of the gas cylinder for its collection and return. BOC has produced an excellent document called Guidelines for gas cylinder safety. We recommend downloading the latest version from their website and printing it out for easy reference see http://www.boc-gas.com.au/en/index.html.

In the event that the gas cylinder is not owned by the supplier, the preferred solution for these is to take them to an authorised hazardous waste disposal facility that is licensed to accept gas cylinders. These are generally operated through local councils and there may be restrictions on the size and type of gas cylinder that they accept. For state-based contacts see: https://www.suez.com.au/en-AU/sustainability-tips/recycling-tips/gas-cylinders.

Gas cylinders need to be transported safely. Cylinder valves must be closed and any regulator or equipment detached before transportation. If private vehicle transportation is required, adequate ventilation should be provided. An open-back utility is best and cylinders should be restrained in an upright position to prevent any movement. DO NOT transport in a passenger compartment.

Used gas cylinders are not usually accepted by scrap metal merchants, unless they have been safely decommissioned. Gas cylinders should not be thrown in with general waste or placed into metal recycling bins, as they will pose risks to waste removal workers. Gas cylinders are hazardous due to their chemical characteristics, their compressed state and their physical size.


BOC Limited 2012. Guidelines for Gas Cylinder Safety. BOC Gases website. http://www.boc-gas.co.nz/en/legacy/attachment?files=tcm:U435-82369,tcm:435-82369,tcm:35-82369

‘Safe disposal & recycling of gas bottle – cylinders’. ELGAS website. https://www.elgas.com.au/disposal-recycling-lpg-gas-bottles-cylinders  (Accessed July 2015)

‘Gas cylinders’ Suez environnement website. https://www.suez.com.au/en-AU/sustainability-tips/recycling-tips/gas-cylinders  (Accessed July 2015)

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