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F.A.Q. Compressed Gas Cylinders

The MCMUA operates one of NJ's most comprehensive household hazardous waste (HHW) programs. This F.A.Q. page and information on hazardous materials is intended as a guide about HHW materials as well as the MCMUA's HHW program. This information is a general guide and does not constitute official rule, regulation or law.

Returning Gas Cylinders to Supplier

As with most hazardous wastes, the best way to manage gas cylinders, canisters and cartridges is to avoid purchasing surplus amounts. This can best be accomplished by buying only what you need, by using all you buy, by emptying cylinders completely through routine use, and by not purchasing duplicate cylinders for those that are partially full in your inventory.

welder1.gif (4205 bytes) There are two types of cylinders
  1. Cylinders supplied by industrial gas vendors (containing argon, carbon dioxide, helium, nitrogen, oxygen, air and other common gases) usually in cylinders with screw-top valve covers.
  2. Specialty gases, supplied by various vendors, commonly in lecture bottles (usually 12-15 inches long and 2 inches in diameter).

Group 1 usually are provided on a rental basis and have a deposit on them. These can be returned through central stores to the vendor. Group 2 are usually sold outright but may in most cases be returned to the vendor at a cost of $0-250. If the cylinder is disposed of through a chemical waste contractor it will typically cost $100-1000 for disposal.

If a specialty gas is desired that is not available through the vendor, the best solution is to rent the next larger size cylinder, rather than purchase a lecture bottle that may cost several hundred dollars to dispose later, even if empty. Although vendor's designations vary for the next larger size, these cylinders are generally about 20 inches long and 4 inches in diameter. Although these cylinders are provided on a rental basis, they almost always cost less than the same product delivered in a lecture bottle. The cylinders contain more product but may be returned even if they are not empty. Alternatively, you may be able to work with the vendor to purchase partially filled cylinders if you don't need full ones. This is the most economical and environmentally sound choice when using small quantities of gases. For more information contact your customer service representative.

MCMUA's Facility Database

For disposal, it is recommended the following steps be taken:

Contact the manufacturer or vendor of the gas cylinder in question to see if it can be returned. Even if a vendor is not on the list on reverse, they might accept cylinder returns.

Follow instructions given by the vendor to ship the cylinder. They can provide the required shipping information.

The following companies accept returns of gas cylinders (as of November 15, 1999):

  • Air Products
    12721 S. Wentworth
    Chicago, IL 60628
    773/785-3000 (Wanda)
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: User pays shipping
  • Aldrich
    PO Box 335
    Milwaukee, WI 53233
    800/558-9160 - Customer Service
    Typical Charge: $27
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: Empties only less than 6 months old. Need special form.
  • Cambridge Isotope Labs
    50 Forntage Rd.
    Andover, MA 01810-5413
    800/322-1174
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: Write 'for disposal' Only accept returns on case by case basis.
  • Farchan Laboratories
    2603 NW 74th Place
    Gainesville, FL 32606
    352/378-5864
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
  • Fluka - see Aldrich
  • Matheson
    Manhattan Road & Richards St.
    P.O. Box 96
    Joliet, IL 60434
    815/727-4848 -John Kraus
    Fax: 815/727-1676
    Typical Charge: $40
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: Will accept gases they still market. Purchase Order # required to process return request.
  • Merck Sharp Dohme Isotopes-see Cambridge
  • MG Industries
    c/o S.J. Smith Welding
    Bondville, IL 61815
    217/863-2223 -Glenn Smith
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: If poison, will arrange shipment.
  • Morton International, Inc. - see Rohm Haas
  • Ozark Mahoning
    5101 W. 21st St.
    Tulsa, OK 74107
    918/583-0851 -Greg Ward
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes. Attn: Dale Fisher.
    Comments: Follow applicable DOT regulations,
  • Pennwalt - see Ozark Mahoning
  • Pfaltz and Bauer
    203/574-0075 -Doug Hughes
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: Only accept on case by case basis. Contact tech services first.
  • Rohm-Hass Metal-Organic Division
    60 Willow St.
    North Andover, MA 01845
    978/557-1700-Cheryl
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: Must get authorization. Does not accept cylinders more than 5 years old.
  • Scientific Gas Products - see Scott Specialty Gases
  • Scott Specialty Gases
    1290 Combermerb Street
    Troy, MI 48083
    810/589-2950 (MI Plant)
    Contact: 630/860-1824 (Marty)
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: Mark "empty". (Only accepts empty cylinders)
  • Spectra Gases Inc.
    80 Industrial Dr.
    Alpha, NJ 08865
    877/395-0128
    Typical Charge: $0
    Company picks up? No
    Must be shipped back? Yes
    Comments: Accepts empty Spectra cylinders only.  Don’t accept cylinders back (as of November 15, 1999)
  • AGA Gas
    217/ 443-0204
  • Amersham
    847/ 593-6300
  • American Environmental
    800/ 842-1088
  • Atomergic Chemicals Corp
    516/ 694-9000
  • (formerly Texas Alkyls)
    800/ 828-7929
  • Farchan Labs
    no longer in business
  • ICN Biomedicals
    800/ 279-5490
  • Monsanto Co
    800/ 635-8842
  • Phillips 66
    800/ 858-4327
  • Pierce Chemical
    800/ 874-3723
  • PCR Research Chemical
    352/ 376-8246x381
  • Praxair (formerly Linde- Union Carbide)
    217/ 367-1139
    (local vendor: Depke)