How to Empty & Recycle Helium Tanks

Helium tanks used for filling up balloons can be recycled with the metal collection. Tanks must be emptied first.

When your tank is completely empty, make sure you have all supplies needed, and follow these steps from Balloon Time (PDF) to recycle.


  • Hammer
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Permanent marker
  • Protective gloves and eye wear


  1. Fully open the valve by turning counter-clockwise until it stops.
  2. Push down on the tilt nozzle until hissing sound stops to release all pressure.
  3. Remove the tilt nozzle by turning the white valve nut counter-clockwise.
  4. Put on protective gloves and eyewear. Using a hammer and flat-head screwdriver, puncture the side of the small relief disc on the back of the shoulder, and pry open. You may have to puncture the ring in a few places around the disc to fully remove.
  5. Remove the disc by hand. Edges may be sharp, so wear gloves and use caution.
  6. Circle the open hole and write “Empty” on the tank. Schedule metal collection.


Beginning in 2018, Livingston Metal Recycling will be picked up every Friday. The cut-off day to be put on the list for any metal pick-up is 12 noon on Thursday, the day before the Friday pick-up date.

To be put on the list for Metal Pick-Up only, you can:

Give your name, address, and a brief description of the metal item(s) to be on the list for pick-up. When you make your request by Service Request or Email, you will automatically receive an email confirmation of your metal recycling pickup.

Metal collection will be done every Friday, except holidays.