Helium Tanks

Alternative ways to recycle
Illegal in Garbage & Drains
Hazardous Waste

Hazardous Waste Collection 
Helium tanks are hazardous because they are pressurized and need special handling to avoid toxic exposure for waste workers, the community, and the environment. Even if the helium tank seems empty, it could still contain residual amounts of helium. 

City Specific Disposal Options
Please check with your city page (residential or commercial) to confirm if additional options are available, such as home collection, drop-off locations, and/or events. (These options vary per city.)

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Drop-Off
Your city or county may offer HHW drop-off sites and collection events.
– Los Angeles County: S.A.F.E. Collection Centers and events
– Riverside County
San Bernardino County
– Ventura County 

Disposal Options For Businesses
Hazardous waste cannot be placed in your containers. Schedule a Special Waste Collection by emailing [email protected] or calling Athens’ Customer Service Department at 888-336-6100. Fees may apply.

Some HHW drop-off centers may allow drop off by small business generators (check links above).

Never Dispose of Curbside

If you are unsure if your helium tank is empty, do not dispose of it at the curb. Dispose of it as hazardous waste instead. Inside a helium tank may be pressurized gas that can explode if the tank is crushed or punctured in a garbage truck or recycling facility.

no heat

Keep Away From Heat

Since a helium tank is pressurized, it may explode if heated, so keep it away from heat and out of direct sunlight in a well-ventilated area.

Do Not Breathe the Gas

Breathing in helium can prevent your body from receiving oxygen, causing quick suffocation.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

Check at the Store

Ask the store where you bought the helium tank to see if they have any take-back programs for empty tanks.

Ways to Reduce


Buy Helium Balloons at the Store

Most party stores have refillable helium tanks onsite to fill party balloons. Skip the hassle of filling your own balloons and have them filled for you at the store.

Rent a Reusable Helium Tank

If you’re planning on filling a lot of balloons, it’s cheaper and more convenient to rent a reusable helium tank. It also reduces waste when compared to buying a disposable one.

Ways to Reuse

Helium Tank Decor

Empty helium tanks are durable and easy to paint and repurpose into home and lawn decor. Check out this Pinterest board for ideas.

Did You Know?

How Helium Was Discovered

Despite the fact that helium is the second most abundant element in the universe, it wasn’t discovered until late 19th century when a French astronomer saw a bright yellow line around the sun during a solar eclipse. Read more from Phys.org.