Contact product manufacturer to see if there is a recycling program in effect. Fire extinguishers are under pressure, and have the potential to explode in combination with some materials. They cannot be discarded curbside and are not accepted at Household Chemical Waste collections.
Earth911 suggests disposing of a fire extinguisher as follows if it is not empty:
1. Check pressure gauge: The extinguisher should have a gauge saying whether it’s overcharged, at the correct pressure or in need of a recharge.
2. Call your fire department: You might be able to exchange your extinguisher or get it recharged.
If it is empty:
1. Squeeze the lever above the handle, ensuring that all contents are discharged.
2. Remove the head: This will let whoever disposes of the extinguisher know that all contents have been removed.
3. Recycle the steel body: Once the head is removed, your community should accept fire extinguishers with the rest of your ferrous metal.
In either case, make sure to follow any instructions on the fire extinguisher.
The following are recycling options for fire extinguishers:
Chicago's Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility
1150 N North Branch St, Chicago
Operated by the City of Chicago and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA).
Tuesdays: 7:00 am to 12:00 pm
Thursdays: 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm
1st Saturday of month: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm
Residential waste only (no business or commercial sector waste).
Accepts small fire extinguishers, small non-refillable cylinders (NRCs) and propane tanks for BBQ grills. This facility accepts many additional items for recycling. See site for details.
1080 Corporate Blvd, Aurora
Monday - Friday: 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
There is a charge of $2.75 per extinguisher to recycle.
Henrichsen’s Fire & Safety Equipment Company
563 N Wolf Rd, Wheeling
Fire extinguishers may be dropped off for recycling at a charge of $4 per item.