‘Twas later that evening on the 4th of July, and sparkly fireworks no longer lit up the sky. Whatever leftovers you thought you might have for next year ended up in the Grand Finale. Now, an assortment of larger fireworks, and smaller firecrackers and sparklers litter the yard, street, or wherever your DIY display occurred. Now what?
Don’t be one of those people who sets off fireworks and then flees the scene, leaving their mess for someone else. Take responsibility for your pyrotechnics, and dispose of them safely. Here’s how to do that.
Well, yeah—and in a few different ways. According to a 2015 study published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, based on a national average, there is 42% more air pollution for the 24-hr period beginning at 8 p.m. on July 4th than there is on a typical day without fireworks.
Not to mention that leaving the used fireworks around isn’t great for the environment either. Most fireworks contain a mixture of fuel, an oxidizer (to provide the oxygen necessary for burning), and the color-producing metal- and chlorine-donating compounds, Elizabeth Wilson, a pyrotechnician licensed in California explained in an article for Chemical & Engineering News. And even though the firework has been set off, the remains could still contain some of the original chemicals.
First, check on whichever local law applies to the disposal of fireworks, or look on your city/town/county/state’s government website in case they have posted instructions. You’re going to want to follow those, but in the meantime (or if there aren’t instructions), here’s what to do, per Recycle Coach:
First, make sure any used or unused fireworks you have are waterlogged. (This includes duds, once you’ve determined that they’re safe to handle.) To do this, soak them in a bucket of water for a minimum of 15 minutes. Feel free to leave them in longer, though—some recommend leaving them in for up to 48 hours, but that’s not necessary if they’re thoroughly soaked, inside and out.
Once your fireworks are sufficiently soggy, pour any excess water from the soaking bucket into the toilet. Then, put the fireworks into a sealable plastic bag to keep them moist. (If double-bagging them feels better, do it.) After this, you can dispose of the bag.
Where, exactly, you do that depends on your local laws, and/or instructions from your fire department. In many cases, once you’ve gotten the fireworks waterlogged and sealed in bags, you can safely dispose of them in your regular garbage can. Do not, however, put them in your recycling bin. Even though they’re mostly paper, fireworks are not recyclable items, Recycle Coach clarifies.
Source link: lifehacker.com