Viridor is contacting more than 200 local authority civic amenity sites it services across the UK reminding them of the dangers gas canisters present.
And, the waste management company will visit the waste disposal authorities it works with over the summer months to increase awareness around canisters.
Gas Canisters can create a major problem for waste management companies during the summer, as people replace them in preparation for barbeques.
Often, the old canisters contain traces of flammable liquids which can catch fire or even explode while being processed.
Viridor said in a statement that it receives around 500 canisters each year at its sites, including more than 25 full, large barbeque gas bottles, which present a larger risk.
Tom Liddell, Viridor’s head of recycling assets (WEEE – Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), explained that canisters present a problem to the entire WEEE recycling infrastructure.
“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,” Mr Liddell explained.
He added: “When it comes to the incorrect disposal of these gas canisters, 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.”
Viridor is also urging residents to take extra care when disposing of canisters, as they can often be hidden among other products.
This can be done, for example, by placing a canister inside another object to save room in a van when loading material to take to a Household Waste and Recycling Centre.
Mr Liddell added: “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.
“We are asking sites to be particularly vigilant about the correct disposal of propane and butane bottles, along with fire extinguishers.”