The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) has updated its information for the waste management industry – offering insight into the return procedure and safe handling of gas cylinders on-site.

The revised leaflet, entitled The Safe Handling of Gas Cylinders at Waste Facilities, is available for free download from the publications area of the BCGA website (

Outlining the processes to establish legitimate ownership and to ensure that a cylinder is in a safe condition for processing and disposal, it has been produced to share best practice and give the waste management industry easy-to-access information.

Features include a flowchart detailing safe disposal methods, as well as useful contacts for further advice and assistance.

Doug Thornton, Chief Executive of the BCGA, explained, “The majority of cylinders remain the property of the gas supply companies and are provided under a rental agreement with an expectation that cylinders are returned.”

“However, many end up at waste facilities and the management at the centre should be determining who the legal owner is, and then, where appropriate, informing the owner of the whereabouts of the cylinder.”

“Once ownership is established,” Thornton added, “those that do not belong to gas companies are assessed on-site, and as necessary made safe in a responsible way both in terms of safety to personnel and environmental safety and disposal action then taken.”

Listed as Leaflet L2 on the BCGA website, the new leaflet has been produced in partnership with The Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency and The Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

BCGA has also worked in partnership with UKLPG, the trade association for the LPG industry in the UK, to introduce an initiative to help civic amenity sites return cylinders to their correct owner. By calling a maximum of three numbers, the cylinders will be collected free-of-charge, within 15 working days, by authorised staff carrying appropriate identification and returned to their lawful owner. Advice can also be provided on the disposal of unbranded cylinders.