Dispose of an oxygen cylinder safely yourself or at the dealer

Generally, oxygen cylinders are reusable containers that are replaced or refilled. If an oxygen cylinder is to be disposed of, it is sorted out of the circulation. Dealers or manufacturers take a defective or no longer needed oxygen cylinder for a fee. The self-emptying and disposal is possible.

Only complete and without fittings no dangerous goods

An oxygen cylinder is valid in any condition, whether empty, partially filled or full as dangerous goods. The levy on public recycling centers is limited. It is only accepted by scrap metal dealers if it frees itself from all fittings and is therefore in a visibly empty state. Only in this case, the transport of the oxygen cylinder can take place without appropriate safety precautions.

If the shelf life of the gas cylinder has expired, it can be removed again. For oxygen cylinders, the TÜV renewal with new stamping corresponds to the expiration period of all gas cylinders of ten years. This rhythm applies to aluminum and steel bottles. Bottles of composite materials such as aluminum and fiber must be tested every three years.

Empty old bottles yourself and convert them to scrap metal

If very old gas cylinders are to be disposed of, it must also be taken into account that the filling pressure increased from 150 to 200 bar about forty years ago. The old bottle must be removed from the TÜV before any refilling. If it does not meet the technical requirements such as suitable fitting and sufficient wall thickness, it must be disposed of.

The self-disposal of an old oxygen cylinder after emptying is always possible as an alternative to returning it to a dealer or manufacturer. The following procedure turns a pressure vessel with dangerous goods status into scrap metal:

1. Install the gas bottle in a safe place outdoors
2. Prevent any sparking (smoking, lighter, electrical equipment)
3. Keep away from fatty substances such as lubricants
4. Open valve and allow oxygen to flow out
5. With the valve open, lay the bottle horizontally and let it flow out
6. Completely remove fittings on an empty bottle
7. Rinse the oxygen cylinder with water
8. If necessary, cut with a Flex or a side cutter

Tips & Tricks

Most dealers and manufacturers charge between twenty and forty euros for proper disposal. These fees can be easily saved by the self-emptying.

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