Small Propane Cylinders Pose Hazards to Recycling Facility Workers
Waukesha (WI) – June 18, 2012 – Workers at ReCommunity Recycling, the operator of the Waukesha County Materials Recycling Facility, pulled 147 small propane cylinders from the recyclables on June 11 and there are concerns that this problem will continue to increase throughout the summer months. Propane cylinders pose a very serious risk to workers because during the baling process materials are compressed under hundreds of pounds of pressure in order to form large bales for shipping. Even when the cylinders are empty, they remain pressurized and can explode when compacted. This time an explosion was avoided due to the diligence of the employees at the recycling facility but residents need to be careful and not place materials such as propane cylinders and other dangerous items into the recycling bin.
“The operator strives to maintain a safe working environment for all employees at the recycling facility. We want residents to understand that certain items such as propane cylinders cannot be recycled in their blue bins due to the potential hazard to workers and equipment. They need to be specially handled by companies that sell these products,” stated Karen Fielder, Waukesha County Recycling and Solid Waste Supervisor.
Propane tank/cylinder manufacturers recommend that consumers return unusable propane tanks to a local distributor. Please check for the ‘manufacturer’s tag’ as a source of contact/disposal information. Also, visit waukeshacounty.gov/recycling to find propane tank dealers in Waukesha County that will safely dispose of used or unwanted propane tanks.