Auburn expert explains proper firework disposal

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 4:46 PM EDT
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - The fireworks are over, but if you purchased your own this year, how you clean up the mess left behind matters.

Leftover fireworks can be a big problem if not properly addressed.

Fireworks can be dangerous, even after celebrations. That’s why you need to take a few extra steps, like soaking spent sparklers, to reduce the fire risk.

The Auburn City Environmental Services Department warns that garbage trucks and carts can catch on fire due to not taking the proper precautions to dispose of flammable objects. Another concern is fireworks that are still intact or didn’t fully discharge.

Department spokesperson Taylor McAllister says fireworks can be placed only in garbage bins.

“Not in recycling, not in yard waste because that can cause a big hazard and cause flammable situations.”

There are three easy ways to dispose of sparklers -- soak, wrap and dispose.

“Soak them. Any used or unused need to be completely soaked in a bucket of water overnight. The next step is to wrap them after they are drained. Place them in a concealed plastic bag to maintain moisture. You never want them to dry out. That’s the biggest thing.”

After you’ve done that, they are properly ready to be thrown away in any trash container. Make sure this is done outdoors because the chemicals from the fireworks can be unpredictable.

McAllister wants to remind those who have barbequed during the holiday weekend not to throw away propane tanks. Coal can be thrown away after two days and wrapped in aluminum foil.

“Propane tanks need to go back to where they came from. Coal needs to be cool for 48 hours in a safe place, then wrapped up and put in their garbage cart.”

The city of Auburn pick-up is running a day behind this week for trash and recycling.

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