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 to recycle.


  • Hammer
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Protective gloves and eyewear
  • Permanent marker


  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 (see below).

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 12:00 noon on Thursday, the day before the Friday pick-up date.

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

(1) Sign Up On-Line:  Submit a Service Request *  or

(2) E-mail *  or

(3) Call 973-992-5000 ext: #5522

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 E-mail, you will automatically receive an e-mail confirmation of your metal recycling pickup.

Metal collection will be done every Friday, except holidays.


Livingston Recycling Collection Page

Balloon Time Instructional PDF: How to Safely Recycle Your Empty Helium Tank