What should be done with unwanted explosives, fireworks and flares?

What is an unwanted explosive?

Unwanted explosives, fireworks or flares are those that are out of date, damaged or left over as surplus from previous projects or owners.

Safe disposal

Those authorised to have explosives (e.g. licensed shotfirer, mine operator, shipping or boating company) must responsibly dispose of any explosives that are surplus to requirements, at their own cost.

Since the disposal of explosives is a potentially lethal operation, it must only be performed by licensed personnel:

  • blasting explosives — holder of a shotfirer licence
  • outdoor fireworks — holder of a fireworks operator or fireworks contractor licence
  • other pyrotechnics — holder of a pyrotechnics (special use) licence.

Unwanted marine distress flares should be handed to a nominated collection point or arrangements made for their disposal by a commercial operator. Some commercial pyrotechnic or fireworks contractors are qualified to dispose of flares.

Further information on what to do and who to contact is available in the pamphlet below.

Abandoned and unwanted explosives and flares - pamphlet - 1447 Kb

This pamphlet provides information on commercial blasting explosives and other explosives, such as fireworks, railway track signals and marine distress flares.