Dry ice is an incredibly useful tool for preserving frozen foods in shipment, creating theatrical fog, and even deep cleaning via ice blasting. But every job must eventually come to an end. After the ice has served its purpose, you may be wondering, “Now what?” Dry ice is usually something that is not easy to handle and requires a lot of safety procedures to prevent frostbite and cold burns. Dry ice can also pose a potential explosive hazard if left in a container with a sealed lid for too long, like a trash can. As such, it cannot be disposed of the same as regular water ice cubes in the garbage can or poured down the sink. So then, how exactly does one dispose of it in a harmless way? Here is how to safely dispose of dry ice once it has served its purpose.
Choose a Well-Ventilated Space
Make sure to prepare to dispose of dry ice in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors. It’s also important to make sure that the area is not accessible by pets or children. For the fastest results, dispose of the ice on a clear, sunny day. But, the disposal process can still occur in any weather type, so don’t worry too much about that.
Dress for Handling Dry Ice
Since you will be handling the ice directly, it’s important to wear appropriate clothing. This includes covering as much skin as possible to prevent burns in case of accidentally dropping the dry ice on yourself. Long sleeve shirts with thick fabric, jackets, closed-toed shoes, and long, durable pants like jeans are recommended for disposal. Most importantly, wear gloves that are made for handling dry ice.
Start the Sublimation
Take the dry ice from the cooler or wherever it was stored and transfer it to a large, lidded styrofoam container using metal tongs. If there is any newspaper or wash paper surrounding the ice, make sure to remove it first. Once the ice is all inside the metal container, place the lid on top, but instead of sealing it shut, leave a small opening as an air vent. Then, nature will do its work by sublimation. The ice will evaporate over time. You can check on the ice’s sublimation progress throughout the day; just be mindful of the fumes, which can be potentially harmful to your body if overexposed.
Finish the Process
After about 24 hours or more, the ice should be completely evaporated, and the container should be empty. Take the container, lid, gloves, and any other items exposed to the ice to your local landfill that accepts hazardous waste products. You are all done!
Dry Ice For All Your Needs
Dry Ice Corp is the largest regional supplier of dry ice and related products in the Northeastern United States. Our ice is fresh and delivered right to your doorstep. We are happy to help you determine the best way to ship your goods, whether you have a huge amount of cookies or a single pie, and help you select the perfect amount of dry ice for the job. Give us a call at (201) 767-3200 or contact us online for a quote. To connect with us online, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.