Fire extinguishers should always be available in the home to put out flames quickly. However, after the fire extinguisher has been used, many individuals aren't sure what to do with the empty or half-empty cylinder. According to Earth911, the disposing of used fire extinguishers differs depending on whether the fire extinguisher is empty or not.
Fire Extinguers with Contents
Determine how much content is inside the fire extinguisher by looking at the pressure gauge. The gauge will show you if the unit is overcharged, at the correct pressure or in need of a recharge. Unless the fire extinguisher gauge shows the unit is at the correct pressure, it will need to be refilled or recycled.
Contact your local fire department if the unit is undercharged to find out if the unit can be refilled. Some fire departments also have exchange programs available. Individuals can exchange their used extinguisher for one that is refilled and ready for use.
Contact your community's Department of Public Works to find out when the next Household Hazardous Waste Event is being held so you can dispose of any fire extinguishers that have contents remaining in the cylinder.
Empty Fire Extinguishers
Discharge the fire extinguisher to empty any remaining contents that might be lingering inside the cylinder. Prior to recycling, the fire extinguisher must be completely empty.
Disconnect the head from the cylinder.
Recycle the head and the cylinder at any drop-off site that accepts ferrous metals, such as steel.