Can You Recycle Helium Tanks? (And Are They Flammable?)

If you find yourself regularly planning a kids’ party, maybe as a party planner or a parent, you may need a helium tank for your balloons. As aesthetics progress, we can also use balloons to decorate virtually any party for any age group. However, you will be burning through many balloons, and blowing them up manually will be very challenging.

As such, you may find yourself with a helium tank. It stores just the right amount of helium for balloons and makes it easy for you to inflate them. Additionally, you can also use a helium tank to inflate a bouncy castle, or in some cases, an air mattress.

Well, you may fall into the category of people who own helium tanks and are looking to dispose of them because they are no longer useful. This, of course, begs the question of how to go about doing that. In this blog post, we will show you the proper way to dispose of your helium tank while prioritizing the environment’s safety. Dive in!

Are Helium Tanks Recyclable?

You may be particularly invested in protecting your environment and subsequently take steps towards ensuring that. As such, you may be wondering if you can recycle your useless helium tanks, and the short answer is yes, you can.

When considering items you can recycle, the materials manufacturers use to make them are very important. Certain materials cannot go in the recycling bin, and some of them are treated wood, medical waste and e-waste. However, other materials such as metals are safe for the recycling bin.

Helium tanks are made from metals, making it possible for you to recycle the ones you don’t need anymore. However, if you do not dispose of your helium tank correctly, it may end up in a landfill.

Here, it will simply take up space for about two hundred and fifty years before it finally begins to break down into particles. Unfortunately, it may also release harmful substances into the environment during this process, thereby wreaking havoc on it.

As such, it is best to recycle your helium tanks. You may simply take it down to your recycling center to have it recycled. However, yours may not accept helium tanks, which is why it is best to inquire first. It helps save time and effort if your recycling center doesn’t accept the tanks.

If your recycling center accepts helium tanks, then you may have hit the jackpot. All you have to do in this case is to prepare the tank, as recycling centers may have requirements for the ones they accept. For example, some require you to remove the valve on the tanks and will not accept them if you refuse to do so.

Your other option will be to use a recycling locator to find the closest recycling center that accepts helium tanks or metals in general. Alternatively, you may also find a scrapyard and donate the tanks to them. Of course, you can also choose to sell the helium tank to the scrapyard if the option is available.

Are Helium Tanks Refillable?

The average helium tank can inflate about fifty small balloons and almost thirty large ones. But, of course, you will need more when inflating a bouncy castle or an air mattress.

So, if you plan large parties, chances are you will burn through a fair share of helium tanks. Now, getting to this point, do you end up disposing of several helium tanks? That may be an unsustainable process, as you will be consuming a high quantity of metals, which may subsequently deplete our non-renewable resources.

The safest way around this will be to refill your used helium tanks, which begs the question of whether you can refill them. Well, it varies.

There are helium tank producers that now make it possible to refill the tanks when you use up the helium. All you have to do is purchase helium tanks from manufacturers that make it possible for you to reuse the tanks.

You may also opt for renting helium tanks from suppliers. They have access to places where they buy reusable ones. Additionally, they will find it very easy to fill them up, thereby saving you a ton of energy and resources.

So, if you plan large parties, it is best to opt for reusable helium tanks instead of disposable ones. On the other hand, if you need a small quantity of helium, you may just rent the tank from a supplier and fill it yourself or have them do it for you.

That way, you will be reducing the constant need to recycle helium tanks, thereby saving environmental energy and non-renewable resources.

Are Helium Tanks Flammable?

If you plan kids’ parties, the venue would be the worst place to leave flammable material. Helium is a non-combustible gas, which means it cannot catch on fire. Helium tanks store helium, and unlike other gas tanks, they will not catch on fire if exposed to extreme heat.

This is an excellent feat because many people use helium tanks to inflate balloons and bouncy castles at parties. Here, they tend to leave the tanks in the sun while inflating the balloons and bouncy castles.

Thankfully, helium tanks will not catch on fire even when you expose them to extreme heat. Nothing short of tossing the helium tank in a fireplace or an incinerator will cause it to go up in flames.

As such, you can comfortably tote a helium tank around without the fear of it going up in flames and injuring you or those around you. However, despite its inflammatory nature, manufacturers still advise that you keep it in a cool place.

Can You Throw Helium Tanks in the Trash?

Cleaning up has to be one of the least endearing things about throwing a party, whether large or small. However, we have to do it sometime, as the trash will not take itself out.

Well, if you have just planned a kids’ party, chances are you will end up with a helium tank. Now, as we advised earlier, it will be best to purchase or simply rent a reusable one. However, if you find yourself with a disposable one, then that is still great.

At this point, you may be wondering if you can dispose of your helium tanks in the trash. It is pretty relative; that is, it depends on the size of your helium tanks.

Helium tanks larger than 5 gallons or 19 meters should never go in the trash can. This means that if you have smaller ones, you can simply take off the valve to release the leftover helium and subsequently throw them in the trash. However, if you do not let out the leftover helium, it can harm the waste disposal workers.

On the other hand, if your helium tank exceeds five gallons, then you can take it to your local recycling center. It is made of metals so recycling it will not be a problem. However, it will be best to ask your local recycling center if they accept metallic waste like helium tanks.

If they do not, you may simply use a recycling locator to find the closest one that does. Another option will be to locate a metal recycling company or even a scrapyard. Of course, you can just as easily leave the disposal of your helium tanks to them.

How do You Dispose of Helium Tanks?

When you are looking to dispose of your helium tank in an environmentally conscious manner, the best way to go about it is to recycle it. However, that may be a last resort, as your helium tank may have a couple more uses in it.

Here, we will provide you with exciting and environmentally friendly ways to dispose of your helium tanks before you finally have to recycle them.

1. Refill Them

If you have purchased reusable helium tanks, then that is applaudable. You can simply keep it in your garage or storage space and reuse it when the need arises. You need not worry about finding a place to refill it. All you have to do is visit a helium tank supplier close to you and let them know you will like a refill.

It saves you the extra cost of purchasing a new tank and protects the environment by conserving non-renewable resources and reducing manufacturing processes. You may also loan the tank to your family and friends, thereby cutting back on helium tank consumption.

2. Makeshift Tables

Another super-amazing use for your old helium tank will be to make it into a table. Helium tanks are perfect for this with their round bottoms and hollow tops. They make a great table stand.

Now, all you have to do is repaint the helium tank or design it with an array of colors. Alternatively, you may wrap it with twine or use any other decorative ideas you have. Next, you can commission a furniture maker to help you create a flat or table-like surface that you can easily attach to the helium tank. You may also use a glass surface.

3. Woodstove

We bet you didn’t know that you can carve out enough space in your helium tank and subsequently turn it into a woodstove. You may need a handyperson for this hack or simply resort to carving out the area with a strong saw.

Helium tanks are made from metal, which makes them a fantastic conductor of heat. As such, you will consume even less energy by turning your old helium tank into a woodstove.

4. Firepit

Helium tanks make excellent firepits too. You can carve off the top of the tank and place some firewood in it. It will burn perfectly, as helium tanks are made from metals that are excellent heat conductors.

However, it is best to adequately prepare the tank before using it as a firepit. Helium is a non-combustible gas, but it never hurts to take extra care.

5. Gardening Equipment

Green thumbs will say this is their favorite repurpose idea. Whether you have a large or small helium tank, you can successfully turn it into a flower pot. You can use this flower pot as temporary storage for your plants, pending the time you transplant them into your garden.

Simply carve off the hollow part of the helium tank, splash some color on it, and get to planting!


The world is gradually progressing to a stage where everything will become environmentally friendly. However, until we get there, it is up to us individually to take active steps towards protecting our environment. It tells through the ways we dispose of our waste.

This article has covered everything you need to know about properly disposing of helium tanks. So, please, read up and make informed decisions.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.