How Do You Dispose of Unused Fireworks?

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Fireworks can be a fun way to celebrate national holidays, but leftovers after the celebration can pose a problem. Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to deal with extra fireworks when the festivities end.

  1. Call for pickup or disposal

    In some municipalities, local law enforcement will accept and dispose of unused fireworks after the legal celebration window closes. In some cases, they may arrange a mass turn-in after the holiday. If not, you can always call a non-emergency number for instructions on what to do with your leftovers. In addition, if any companies handle public fireworks displays in your city, they may accept fireworks for recycling.

  2. Render them safe

    If there are no turn-in options available, you can treat the unused fireworks like spent fireworks. First, you must render the gunpowder inside the device completely inert. Fill a 5-gallon bucket with water and place used and unused fireworks inside. Remove any wicks before soaking. You may need a weight to keep the lighter portions from floating. Leave the fireworks submerged for at least 24 hours to ensure the gunpowder is ruined.

  3. Bag and throw away

    After the fireworks have soaked, drain the water, and place all the remains inside a sealable plastic bag. Then simply dispose of it with your normal trash. Do not place unsoaked fireworks in with your garbage, as doing so could potentially cause a fire.