Oxygen Tanks Alternative ways to recycle Hazardous Waste Do Not Put in Garbage Because oxygen tanks can be pressurized, never dispose of them at the curb as garbage. Store Carefully Although oxygen itself isn’t flammable, it can cause flammable substances to ignite. Store oxygen tanks in a cool, well-ventilated area away from people and anything flammable. Empty the Tank Before disposing, empty an unwanted oxygen tank by opening the valve and leaving it open, allowing all remaining oxygen to drain out. Alternative Ways to Recycle Recycle With Scrap Metal Since oxygen tanks are made from steel or aluminum, some scrap metal recyclers accept them for recycling. Find out what to do with scrap metal. Contact the Retailer or Manufacturer If listed on your oxygen tank, contact the manufacturer or retailer and see if you can return the tank to them. Medical cylinders and scuba tanks are generally accepted by the manufacturer or retailer. Ways to Reduce Refill Your Oxygen Tank Most oxygen tanks can be refilled and used again. For medical oxygen, contact a medical equipment supplier. For scuba oxygen, contact a dive shop. Did You Know? What Are Oxygen Tanks Used For? Oxygen tanks are used for a variety of purposes, primarily to help with breathing due to medical issues, or during activities such as scuba diving, mountaineering or flying an aircraft. Industrial purposes for oxygen tanks include cutting, welding, metal refining and chemical processing.