Refrigerant or helium gas cylinders, fire extinguishers and LPG cylinders are common examples of compressed gas cylinders. Improper disposal of these cylinders not only pollutes the environment and affects environmental hygiene, but also poses risks to public safety.
Compressed gas cylinders shall not be disposed of as general waste. To safeguard public safety and maintain environmental hygiene, members of the public should not irresponsibly discard them in public places such as on the streets or at refuse collection points. They should:
Hire reusable cylinders (e.g. helium or refrigerant), that are refillable, from reliable supplier(s) and avoid using disposable ones;
Completely use up the content of gas cylinders;
If using disposable cylinders is unavoidable, fully open the valve of the cylinder after complete exhaustion of the gaseous content to ensure there is no remaining pressure, label the cylinder clearly as “EMPTY”, then pass them to a suitable scrap metal recycler;
For the disposal of expired or unserviceable fire extinguishers, they should be passed to the suppliers or Registered Fire Service Installation Contractors (RFSICs) should be contacted to arrange for collection, follow-up, or reuse after inspection. Fire extinguishers with their contents cleared should also be recycled as scrap metal; and
LPG cylinders that have been used or no longer in use should be returned to LPG distributors as soon as possible. Any abandoned or unattended LPG cylinders should be reported to the respective Registered Gas Supply Companies via their 24-hour emergency hotlines for collection.
Disposal of the above said cylinders, whether or not they are housing gaseous content / other materials, is subject to control under the Fixed Penalty (Public Cleanliness and Obstruction) Ordinance (Cap. 570), the Public Cleansing and Prevention of Nuisances Regulation (Cap. 132BK) and the Waste Disposal Ordinance (Cap. 354). Improper disposal of compressed gas cylinders will lead to prosecution. Examples of suitable recyclers are available at the Hong Kong Waste Reduction Website.
Special Notes for Technicians
Electrical and Mechanical Services Department:
1. Gas Safety Tips to Users: Purchase, Storage, Replacement and Handling of LPG
2. How to identify LPG cylinders and 24 hour hotlines of respective Registered Gas Supply Companies
Fire Services Department:
1. Regulation, Disposal and Recycling of Fire Extinguishers
2. List of Registered Fire service Installation Contractors