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UKLPG and BCGA Launch Re-usable Gas Cylinder Collection Initiative

UKLPG, the trade association of the LP Gas industry and The British Compressed Gas Association (BCGA) have recently joined forces to launch a telephone service to ensure the prompt collection of empty cylinders from civic amenity (CA) sites.

LP Gas and industrial gases are sold to customers in reusable cylinders that remain the property of the individual gas companies. The cylinders themselves are valuable assets, but they often end up in the waste stream where they can cause issues for CA site operators, due to their potentially hazardous contents. It is therefore essential that cylinder brand owners work to ensure that they are notified of their assets being discarded, and in turn, collect them promptly.

However, despite deposit and rental schemes and guidance to customers regarding their return, more than 150,000 reusable and serviceable gas cylinders are brought to CA sites. In the past, the system has relied upon sites to contact each company directly, which could be very time consuming. However, this new scheme, launched on the 1st July, aims to simplify the process. Where there is not a pre-existing arrangement already in place with a brand owner, calling a maximum of three telephone numbers will ensure prompt collection of all UKLPG and BCGA member companies' reusable cylinders, free of charge.

To have BOC cylinders collected call: 0800 111333

To have Calor Gas cylinders collected call: 01179 413721

For all other gas cylinders call: 0800 083 9652

By law, branded gas cylinders belong to the individual company and if there is no routine authorised collection arrangement at that site already in place, calling the telephone contact points means that cylinders belonging to UKLPG and BCGA members will be collected within 15 working days, free of charge to the CA site.

Doug Thornton, Chief Executive of the BCGA comments: "We are very pleased to join with UKLPG in setting up these new arrangements, which will greatly simplify life for municipal waste site managers and hopefully see increased recovery of what are valuable assets to our industry. This will have major environmental and safety benefits and will hopefully reduce the numbers of cylinders that either find their way into the scrap metal trade or be irresponsibly fly-tipped. The new scheme is a great step forwards."

John Woodruff, Chair of the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers, commented: "For those of us operating household waste recycling centres, gas cylinders are always an issue. This new, simplified scheme will not only help ensure that these potentially hazardous containers are dealt with appropriately, it will also mean that they are delivered back to their original manufacturers where they can be treated as assets, rather than waste. We certainly welcome this initiative as a positive step, and look forward to working more closely with UKLPG and BCGA to make sure all of our members are aware of it."

Rob Shuttleworth, UKLPG chief executive, said: "This proposal provides a solution to what has proved to be a difficult problem for the industry and civic amenity sites. All UKLPG member companies support this initiative and whilst it leaves them free to decide the best collection arrangement, it simplifies notification for the civic amenity site operators and increases the likelihood of a swift return of valuable assets. At the same time it demonstrates to authorities, both local and national, that the issue of gas cylinders that end up in the waste stream is taken seriously. In due course, it is proposed to formulate the collection timescale and ease of notification into a UKLPG Code of Conduct."