Fire Extinguishers


Very old extinguishers that contain carbon tetrachloride are hazardous and should not be thrown out. If the extinguishers are sodium bicarbonate or monoammonium phosphate, they are not considered hazardous and you can discharge them outside and then bring to Recycling Drop-off Center for scrap metal during open hours or place in the trash.

If the extinguishers are monoammonium phosphate, wear safety goggles and a mask while discharging, as it is an eye and respiratory irritant. To discharge your old dry chemical extinguisher:

1.     May be discharged in an area where an acidic fertilizer would be used such as around evergreens. Do not use on lawns.

2.     When relieving the pressure (emptying) the container for disposal, review manufacturers' instructions, or, if unavailable, use the PASS technique.

3.     Pull the pin: this unlocks the operating lever and allows you to discharge the extinguisher. Some extinguishers may have other seals or tamper indicators.

4.     Aim low: Point the extinguisher nozzle (or hose) at the base of the item.

5.     Squeeze the lever above the handle: this discharges the extinguishing agent. Releasing the lever will stop the discharge. (Some extinguishers have a button instead of a lever.)

6.     Sweep from side to side.

7.     After pressure has been relieved (when nothing else comes out) bring to Recycling Drop-off Center for scrap metal during open hours or place in the trash.

Most fire extinguishers are rechargeable. See yellow pages under fire equipment. The following locations will dispose of any fire extinguisher:

Small charge unless purchasing a new fire extinguisher.
888.296.1381, 20 Hall Street, Medford, Ma 02155

781.396.3203, Located in Medford.
Will accept if purchasing a new extinguisher.


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Dept of Public Works

147 Hampshire St
Cambridge MA 02139


Hours of Service

Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Recycling Center Hours
Tuesday & Thursday: 4:00pm-7:30pm  
Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm