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How To Dispose Of Helium Balloons

How To Dispose Of Helium Balloons: 4 Tips

Last Updated on April 23, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Helium balloons are a go-to for party decor! And when the party’s over, no need to stress over dealing with them – we have a solution for you.

Today, we’ll show you how to dispose of helium balloons so you can clean up after the party without any worries. So, keep reading. 

4 Handy Tips To Properly Dispose Of Helium Balloons

character balloons

1. Deflate The Balloon

Begin by carefully deflating the helium balloon. To do this, insert a straw or a long thin object into the balloon’s opening, allowing the helium to escape slowly. 

Be cautious not to inhale the helium, as it can be harmful when inhaled in large amounts. Check out these ways to keep helium balloons from deflating here.

2. Cut Into Smaller Pieces

Once the helium has been released, scissors cut the balloon into smaller pieces. It ensures that it is no longer a choking hazard for wildlife [1] and can decompose more quickly.

3. Remove Attachments

Carefully remove ribbons, strings, or other attachments from the balloon before discarding them. These materials can be harmful to wildlife if ingested or entangled.

4. Recycle If Possible

Some balloon materials, such as mylar, can be recycled. You should inquire at your community’s recycling center about whether or not they take mylar balloons.

If so, clean and prepare the material according to their guidelines.

Read: Steps To Blow Up Foil Balloons With Helium

How Do You Properly Deflate Balloons?

1. To deflate balloons, you’ll need a pair of scissors, a pin, or another sharp object. You may also want a straw or a balloon deflation tool to make the process easier.

2. Grasp the neck of the balloon firmly with one hand, ensuring it doesn’t slip out of your grip while you deflate it.

3. Using a pin or the tip of the scissors, carefully puncture the balloon near the knot. Be sure to do this slowly and gently to avoid making a loud noise or causing any damage.

4. For helium balloons, allow the gas to escape slowly by gently pressing on the balloon’s surface. It will help prevent the helium from escaping too quickly, which can cause a loud noise.

5. Once the balloon is fully deflated, gently press on it to remove any remaining air or gas. Be cautious not to damage the balloon if you plan to reuse it.

6. If you intend to store or transport the deflated balloon, fold or roll it up neatly to save space and protect it from damage.

7. Store or dispose of the balloon: Store the deflated balloon in a cool, dry place if you plan to reuse it, or follow proper disposal guidelines if you discard it.

Note: 

  • If you prefer not to puncture the balloon directly, insert a straw or deflation tool into the balloon’s opening near the knot. It allows the gas to escape more slowly and control, minimizing the loud noise risk.
  • Remember to carefully handle the deflated balloon, as it can still pose a choking hazard for children and pets. Keep deflated balloons out of their reach and dispose of them responsibly.

Is It Possible To Recycle Deflated Balloons?

woman holding balloons

The answer depends on the material. Latex balloons are biodegradable and can break down naturally over time. Unfortunately, they cannot be recycled. 

Mylar and plastic balloons, however, are not biodegradable and can take many years to decompose. 

“Sometimes you get up in the morning and think you can’t do it, and you just have to. The minute you stop it’s like a balloon, you run out of puff – you sort of collapse in a heap. I think you live on adrenaline.”

Camilla, Queen Consort of the United Kingdom

Some recycling facilities may only accept them if they are contaminated with food or other waste. To be sure, check with your local recycling center or waste management department. 

What Are Ways To Reuse Deflated Balloons? 

Deflated balloons can be used in a variety of clever and entertaining ways.

You can make banners or streamers with them to decorate for a special event, and you can even hang them from the ceiling or the walls to create a joyful mood. 

If you want something to do with the kids, blow up a few deflated balloons and let the fun begin. 

Filled with water, they can be used as floats in a pool [2] or lake – perfect for summer days. 

Remember, don’t toss them away when you’re done with them; reuse them. It’s a simple and easy way to enjoy and reduce waste.

FAQs

How long does a helium balloon take to decompose?

Helium balloons typically take up to 3-4 months to decompose fully due to the slow breakdown of their latex material. 

But outdoor balloons may decompose faster due to environmental factors such as wind and rain. But how long do helium-filled mylar balloons last?

Does letting a balloon go count as littering?

Letting a balloon go can be littering since it can end up in the environment and harm wildlife. So, it’s essential to properly dispose of balloons and other items to keep our planet clean and safe.

Are all balloons environmentally friendly?

No, not all balloons are environmentally friendly. Some balloons are made with materials like latex and mylar, which are not biodegradable and can take years to decompose.

Why has helium been restricted?

Helium has been restricted due to its limited supply, as it is a non-renewable resource used for various industrial and medical purposes. 

Plus, it has been restricted to ensure that it is not wasted and can be used for future generations.

Let’s Sum It Up

When getting rid of helium balloons, the key is to do it responsibly and with consideration for the environment. 

Recycling, reusing, or returning balloons to a balloon store are all great ways to ensure your balloons are disposed of in the most eco-friendly way possible. 

So, let’s all take responsibility and keep helium balloons around to celebrate for many more years. 

References:

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkart/2021/05/18/a-guide-to-visiting-responsible-wildlife-sanctuaries/
  1. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/care-inground-swimming-pool-20284.html
Kimberlee Johnson
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