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Author Topic:   How to dispose of old flares?
Tom W Clark posted 04-27-2001 11:52 AM ET (US)   Profile for Tom W Clark   Send Email to Tom W Clark  
Anybody got advise on how to get rid of expired flares/smoke signals? It's tabboo to put them in the trash. West Marine, where I generally buy them, wants nothing to do with them and offers no advise. Orion, the manufacturer of the flares I use suggests you contact your local authorities. (what a pass-the-buck kinda' response) My local fire dept. wants nothing to do with them. And my local hazardous waste disposal site won't touch them.

Think of how many flares are sold each year! You would think the manufacturers would have a program in place to deal with this problem. They make 'em 'cause the CG requires 'em but nobody will step up to provide disposal of them!

Georgian Bay Boater posted 04-27-2001 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Georgian Bay Boater  Send Email to Georgian Bay Boater     
Wait until July 1st or in the States July 4th and incorporate them into your fireworks display.
Not sure if this is legal, but it is an option and you could see if they still work.
Just one option........
Tom W Clark posted 04-27-2001 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
This is often suggested and I've been tempted but have always been dissuaded by the fact that it's totally illegal and the Coast Guard has always made a point of this.
blackdog posted 04-27-2001 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog  Send Email to blackdog     
As I mentioned I am taking a Coast Guard course and they made mention about the old flares a few weeks ago. Their only comment was to keep them and use them first then use the newer ones. I would not want to get caught lighting one of those off by the Coast Guard.


sorcerer posted 04-27-2001 01:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for sorcerer    
Move the old flares to your auto or trucks.

Of course we use them to light our brush fires. Don't start we have the necessary permits.

hooter posted 04-27-2001 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for hooter    
MUCH ado 'bout nuttin. If ya sceered ta pop 'em off wid ya fahr-crakkas on da foth 'a July, jus digs ya a hole 'bout three foot deep, water 'em down real good an bury 'em in ya back yahd.
will posted 04-27-2001 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for will    
try soaking them in motor oil. I have been told to dispose of old ammunition in this way. It may work for flares as well.
Tom W Clark posted 04-27-2001 04:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I got 12 years worth of handheld flares, meteor flares and smoke signals. I don't think I need all of them in my truck nor do I suspect a Very pistol would go down to well on the freeway, though if I were prone to road rage.....

Soaking them in oil would also work. I did this with a box of .45 ammo once, but then I would have a huge oily hazardous waste mess to dispose of. Perhaps just soaking them in a bucket of water for a day or two and then just pitching them out with the garbage?

The meteor flares are good for starting fires. I ignited a burn pile with a 12 gauge flare when I first got the gun and boy! did it start burning.

Alaska posted 04-27-2001 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Alaska  Send Email to Alaska     
The flares are perfectly legal to shoot off if you first broadcast on channel 16 your vessel name, position, and that you are conducting a pyrotechnic exercise / flare drill. We do it all the time in the commercial fleet as we are required to conduct some sort of safety drill each month for our crews. In order to avoid irritating the Coast Guard with many "concerned idiot" calls, you might want to do it on july 4th or newyears eve.
happy shootin
whalernut posted 04-27-2001 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I use them to start fires on the beach on Lake Erie to burn all of the wood and junk from what Lake Erie washes in! Regards-Jack Graner.
stagalv posted 04-28-2001 10:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
When I was about 9 I used flares to start a fire on my Dads 40' DeFever (not on purpose) I would only use them for what they are made for.
People in my area give the old flares to the CoastGuard Aux. They use them for training.
SuburbanBoy posted 04-28-2001 11:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Our local Power Squadron suggested we donate them to the Coast Guard. They use them in the numerous demonstrations they provide for public education.
Tom W Clark posted 04-28-2001 11:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Here's part of an interesting article I found on the Coast Guard's web site:

SEATTLE (AP) -- Coast Guard response to 423 false distress calls in Washington and Oregon last year cost taxpayers more than $2.6 million, the 13th Coast Guard District reports.

Despite recent efforts to hold down hoax calls and false alarms, the incidence held steady in the Puget Sound area and may have increased in some parts of the Pacific Northwest between Oct. 1 of last year and Sept. 30.

"In addition to the tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars, these needless missions endanger rescue crews and tax limited search-and-rescue assets, which then may not be able to respond to a real maritime incident," said a Friday news release.

Of the total, 141 false distress calls involved flares, internationally recognized as a sign of distress and treated as 911 calls by the Coast Guard.

"Many boaters dispose of their expired flares by firing them in situations of non-distress," the release says.

The Coast Guard in the region and Orion Marine Products have established a flare-disposal program to such incidents. Under the "retire them, don't fire them" campaign, people turning in expired flares to any Coast Guard station receive a 10 percent discount on new Orion flares, the release says.

link to the entire article:

whalernut posted 04-29-2001 07:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Tom, great article and a great idea! 10% off is an extra bonus. I will have to check in my area for that deal as I need new flares now! Regards-Jack Graner.

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