BCGA reminds waste sector about gas cylinder return service

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA)​ is issuing a reminder to the waste sector about a returns scheme for gas cylinders.

The national trade body works in partnership with the trade association for the LPG industry (UKLPG) on an initiative to help civic amenity sites return cylinders to their correct owner.

Under the scheme, by calling a maximum of three numbers, the cylinders will be collected free-of-charge within 15 working days by authorised staff and then returned to their lawful owner. Advice can also be provided on the disposal of unbranded cylinders.

Doug Thornton, chief executive of the BCGA, said: “The scheme has been developed to ensure gas cylinders are returned to their rightful owners and to ensure they don’t fall into the wrong hands and present a safety issue. The market for industrial gases in the UK is significant and, as a result, there are many thousands of gas cylinders in circulation. The majority of these cylinders remain the property of the gas suppliers.

“Due to the sheer amount of resource invested, they are supplied to users under a rental agreement, which requires the user to pay rental on the cylinder until its return back to the gas supplier. Most gas cylinders are re-usable and following a safety check they will be re-filled ready for the next customer. To aid their return, the gas supplier supplies their details on each cylinder," continued Thornton.

“However, while most customers will return the gas cylinder back to their gas supplier, some do not and many are stolen, sometimes for the gases they contain, but more frequently for the scrap value of the metal.

“This is of concern as the thieves will have little thought to the safety of themselves or the people to whom they sell stolen cylinders, and will not care about releasing gases into the environment. It is also a significant blow to the gas suppliers to whom the value of a cylinder far exceeds its scrap value.”

More details on the cylinder return initiative - including relevant telephone numbers - can be found on the BCGA website within the Gas Topics section, under the heading ‘cylinder recovery and disposal.’

The BCGA also provides guidance for the waste management industry on the return procedure and safe handling of gas cylinders on site.

The publication, Leaflet 2, entitled 'The safe handling of gas cylinders at waste facilities' is also available for free download from the BCGA website

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