Flares contain explosives and once they are past their expiry date it is essential that out-of-date flares or Time Expired Pyrotechnics (TEPs) are disposed of carefully.
Ultimately, the responsibility for the safe disposal of TEPs rests with their owner. The eventual disposal of TEPs should become part of your buying decision and who you buy them from.
If you have out-of-date flares and need to arrange their safe disposal, it is a good idea to initially contact the supplier you bought them from to see if they will take them back. Clearly this is not possible if you buy them online and you should bear this in mind when purchasing flares.
There are specialist hazardous waste disposal companies that will dispose of your unwanted TEPs, but there will be a cost for such a service. Again, you should keep this in mind if ordering flares online.
HM Coastguard will not accept TEPs from any commercial organisations. They need to make their own arrangements either with their supplier or if they do not provide a disposal service, with a specialist hazardous waste disposal company.
The regulations concerning transportation apply to places of work and places in public use, but they do not apply to individuals, so you can legally put TEP in your car and drive them to a recognised disposal site.
Isle of Wight and Solent disposal of TEPs:
Hampshire Constabulary has recently advised Cowes Harbour Commisison that anyone wishing to dispose of out-of-date flares on the Isle of Wight should in the first instance contact the National Maritime Operations Centre in Fareham for advice before attempting to bring TEPs to Newport Police Station. If so advised, then up to 10 flares at any one time can be handed in to Newport Police Station front desk.
Ocean Safety Ltd have also informed the Commission that they will dispose of TEPs providing they are delivered to their premises in Southampton. Standard flares (rockets, hand flares etc.) are charged at £1.55 per item and commercial MOB smoke and light units are charged at £13.30/unit.