Helium tanks are used for more than just balloons. Helium tanks are used to cool down appliances, cable TV, MRI magnets, phone and computer chips, and much more. When owning a helium tank, has anyone thought of what to do when the helium runs out?
The easiest way to recycle a helium tank is to give it to a recycling center. Almost all recycling centers will take helium tanks, and recycling centers are readily available in most locations. There are also creative ways to dispose of a helium tank like using it as an art piece.
However, in order for you to be able to drop off your helium tank at a recycling center, there are a few preparation steps that you will have to know and follow.
Supplies Used in the Disposal Process
What will you need to recycle a helium tank? Well, besides the tank itself, of course. You’ll want a flat-head screwdriver, a hammer, protective eyewear, gloves, and a permanent marker. The screwdriver and hammer are used to dismantle the tank (it’s easier to recycle when it’s in pieces). Depending on your tank, you might need other tools as well.
Wear gloves and eyewear to avoid cuts and other injuries, the last thing you need is to take a loose screw to the eye!
Last but not least, use the marker to write ‘empty’ on the tank so there’s no confusion
How to Recycle a Helium Tank
First, make sure the tank is totally empty. Use up the helium if possible, but if you just need the stuff taken off your plate, you can donate it to chemical centers.
Helium is actually becoming a pretty expensive resource. While it isn’t dangerous to just release it into the atmosphere, please try to donate or use it instead! It isn’t just air, it’s an important resource.
Once it’s empty, take apart the tanks as much as you can. You might need a few tools, like the mentioned screwdriver and hammer. Only take apart things that can be easily taken off, don’t tear the tanks to shreds.
Once it’s in pieces, you can take the tank to a recycling center. You can call ahead if you don’t know whether they’ll take the tank, but most recycling plants do. After that, you can head home, relax, and let the plant work its magic!
Important Things to Consider
Keep the tank away from heat. Since helium is pressurized in the container, it can explode if it is heated up.
Don’t breathe in the gas! Breathing in helium can be fun, but helium sucks away the oxygen in your lungs, and breathing in too much of it can make you pass out. Breathing in a little won’t cause any harm, but if you start to feel light-headed at any point, get some oxygen immediately.
If the tank is able to be reused, it will have markings on it. It is important to know where you bought the helium tank from because you can go to the company with any additional questions.
What to Do with Extra Helium?
Helium has become harder to keep around because there is an ongoing shortage of helium gas. Many refineries across the globe have released extra helium into the air, which is considered wasteful.
The prices of helium have increasingly gone up over the years because there is a shortage of helium in the United States. With the prices of helium going up, businesses have suffered.
MRI scanners use helium gas, and subsequently, without this gas, patients will not be able to receive their proper care. Tumors and other problems can’t be detected if helium isn’t present. Who knew helium was such an important part of the world? Please donate extra helium so it doesn’t go to waste.
Fun things to do With a Helium Tank
Not ready to part with your helium tank just yet? Here are some ideas to reuse the tank in your house!
One option is to refill the helium tank if you still need helium for around the house after it became empty. This allows you to not have to go through the process of emptying out the tank. If you want to wait on that, it is possible to keep it in a garage or storage space until the time comes to use it again.
Believe it or not, it is possible to make a table stand out of a helium tank. All you have to do is paint the can in whatever colors you want. Then build a tabletop or contact a woodworker to help you out in the process. The top of the table needs to be flat in order to attach it to the helium tank.
Did you know you can reuse a helium tank as a stove? Someone who is handy may be required in order to fulfill this. You’ll need tools to cut the tank in order to do this. You’ll also need a few parts to fully transform the tank into a working stove. Make sure you know how to work with metal before trying this craft out, as inexperience can get you hurt.
Metal is a good conductor of heat, so helium tanks will be able to successfully store the heat. The good news about this is it actually will save energy in your house.
You can also turn it into a beautiful flower pot! Small and large helium tanks can work for this. If you are in need of a place to store your plants, look no further. The tank can be easily converted into a flowering pot for plants.
Another option is to cut shapes out of the sides of the helium tank and paint it. Basically, you’re using the helium tank like a jack o’ lantern. You can turn it into a castle or a face, and either light it up like a regular jack o’ lantern (use electric or battery-powered light, as heat from a fire, can make the tank dangerously hot) or just set it out as a decoration. This can be a really fun craft if you have the tools!
Helium tanks have a bunch of different uses involved. They need to be taken seriously, like any other appliance when recycling. It is important to recycle helium tanks the right way, in order to prevent workers to be injured while sorting. Learning about helium tanks, and the method of recycling will help people to be aware of how important recycling helium tanks in the right way will be.
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