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Disposal of Unwanted/Outdated Pyrotechnic Devices

Auxiliarists are sometimes asked to accept out-of-date or otherwise unwanted pyrotechnic devices for disposal. 

Per the Auxiliary Manual, Ch. 11, B.13.d.(11), Auxiliarist's "acceptance of any pyrotechnic for disposal or disposition, from any individual or entity other than Coast Guard, is also not authorized."  Accepting such materials for disposal is not an authorized mission for the Auxiliary and may result in individual Auxiliarists taking possession of unstable and hazardous materials and becoming personally responsible for their disposal.  Although some municipal and volunteer fire departments or law enforcement agencies may accept pyrotechnics for disposal, many will not. Disposal may pose potential health or safety hazards to the individual or to the environment. 

If, as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, you are requested to take possession of such materials for disposal, the request must be respectfully declined.  The only appropriate advice that may be given with respect to disposing of the unwanted materials is to caution against throwing them overboard, activating them in the marine environment, or disposing of them in household trash.   

It would be appropriate to suggest that the individual contact local law enforcement or fire protection authorities for guidance on disposing of the unwanted materials.  Members should not recommend that they be activated on land or retained on board a vessel as back-ups since older flares may become unstable and their burn rates unpredictable.

Sources:  Auxiliary Manual, Ch. 11, B.13.d.(11); and 4 Sep 2016 Edition of L2 Auxiliary Leadership Link

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