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Turn In Your Old Marine Flares for Safe Disposal

Over the next four weeks boaters can take advantage of free marine flare collection opportunities around the Bay Area. The locations and dates vary, so check the details below for your locality’s drop-off point. Proof of residence will be required.

West Contra Costa County — October 5 to November 5, 2022, Wednesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 101 Pittsburg Avenue, Richmond, CA 94801. Learn more here.

Del Norte and Humboldt County — November 5, 2022, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1700 State Street, Crescent City, CA 95531. Learn more here.

East Contra Costa County — November 6, 2022​, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Hwy, Pittsburg, CA 94565. Learn more here.

Alameda County — November 6, 2022, at 2100 E 7th St, Oakland, CA 94606, by appointment only. Make an appointment here or call (800) 606-6606​.

For general information on disposal of expired marine flares, please contact the California Department of Toxic Substances Control ([800] 728-6942) or your local Certified Unified Program Agency for assistance.

flare disposal
Boaters can easily amass an arsenal of expired flares. It’s better to take advantage of a free disposal opportunity.
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The collection project is a partnership of Alameda County, Delta Diablo, Del Norte County, West Contra Costa, and the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) with CalRecycle, California State Parks and Coastal Commission’s California Boating Clean and Green Program, and BoatUS Foundation. The aim is to collect expired marine flares and educate residents about marine flare management safety, including the advantages of reusable distress signals, to protect communities and local environment.

​Recreational boaters in grant areas can take expired marine flares to the collection events at their local household hazardous waste (HHW) facility during special events. Only expired marine flares from residential boaters will be accepted, not those from commercial craft or an organization. No other HHW materials will be accepted during the special event.

​The coalition behind these events urges residents to stay alert for future temporary collection events and consider switching to reusable eVDSDs. You can learn more about reusable eVDSDs and the collection events here.


  1. Ron Landmann 2 years ago

    When my Morgan 45 sank in the Caribbean, I used all , except 2, of my 12 gauge flares. The expired ones worked just like the current one. I kept the expired one in a separate container and had them clearly labeled as being expired. I would not recommend getting rid of your expired 12 gauge flares.

    • Donald Fleming 2 years ago

      I’m in a kayak club that held a demo day and your observation related to the 12 gauge was verified. The small pencil flares had a very high failure rate but the 12 gauge flares worked, even the expired ones though they sometimes required more than one trigger pull.

  2. Ron Landmann 2 years ago

    Glad you verified my observation. In my case however, I only needed one trigger squeeze.

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