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Viridor issues gas canister appeal ahead of barbecue season

03rd May 2018

As the UK gets ready to dust off its barbecues in the hope of sunny weather, Viridor is writing to the more than 200 local authority sites it services across the UK reminding them of the dangers gas canisters present.

Viridor’s Head of Recycling Assets (WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Tom Liddell said that it was that time of year – when barbecues were being prepared for summer and old cylinders were being replaced and disposed of.

“This really forms part of Viridor’s overarching public message, urging everyone to put the Right Stuff in the Right Bin.

“When it comes to the incorrect disposal of these gas canisters, however, not only does this impact on the safety of our staff but it undermines recycling efforts and can seriously affect the recycling infrastructure in place in the UK for waste electrical equipment.”

He said this was why Viridor was also planning to visit the waste disposal authorities it works with over the summer months to increase awareness around gas canisters.

On a daily basis, Viridor extracts the smaller camping gas bottles from incoming WEEE with this totalling around 500 canisters each year. The company also receives more than 25 full, large gas barbecue gas bottles each year – these with the potential to cause significant damage.

Tom said: “Cylinders which have contained or still contain flammable and/or explosive liquids and gases are a huge risk to our operations during the processing of WEEE.

“We wanted to write to our customers to highlight the issue. We strive to ensure the safety of our operations and staff and so we are asking customers to raise this issue with their staff and do all that they can to ensure that thorough checks are undertaken at WEEE collection facilities. This is to ensure that any such items are removed and disposed of correctly before the WEEE leaves the facility.”

Tom added that some people may inadvertently dispose of such items without knowing the potential consequences.

“For example, a cylinder could be placed inside another item of WEEE to optimise space in their vehicle and for ease of transport. We want to raise awareness to ensure cylinders are not forgotten.

“We are asking sites to be particularly vigilant about the correct disposal of propane and butane bottles, along with fire extinguishers.”

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