Fireworks Cleanup Guide
Fireworks contain a variety of toxic chemicals, including heavy metals, sulfur-coal compounds, and other poisonous materials. These properties create colors and effects in fireworks, but can leave behind harmful pollution that impacts people, wildlife, and natural resources.
Safe cleanup practices will help prevent fireworks waste from entering storm drains on the street, which flow to rivers and streams without being filtered first. Cleaning up helps protect our local waterways and our urban ecosystem – the neighborhoods and parks where we live and play. Thanks for doing your part to keep our community healthy!
Use this step-by-step guide to clean up after your fireworks show.
Supplies needed: a flashlight (if cleaning up at night), bucket of water, plastic bags, gloves, broom & dust pan, trash container (preferably metal)
After the show, wait 20 minutes before collecting spent fireworks to make sure there are no burning materials. Wear gloves & use caution when picking up.
Submerge all spent fireworks (including any damaged, misfired, or unused fireworks) in a bucket or large tub of water for 15 minutes, or until completely saturated.
Sweep up display area to collect all dust & small debris. If necessary, use a flashlight to illuminate the area. Place debris & soaked fireworks pieces into a plastic bag & seal it. Leave the bag in a safe place overnight, ideally in a metal container away from potential fire hazards. Place the sealed bag in the trash.
After removing all fireworks, the water used for soaking should be disposed of indoors down a toilet. Do not dump the water in the street or grass, and do not hose down the area.
WHY? >> Flushing the water sends it through the municipal sewer system, which allows it to be filtered & treated. Dumping it in the street or grass, or hosing down the area can wash the water used for fireworks into storm drains, which will carry the pollutants into local waterways.
MORE WAYS TO HELP OUR COMMUNITY
In the days following fireworks celebrations, grab some gloves and help clean up fireworks litter in your neighborhood. Ways you can get involved:
- Attend a Community Cleanup Event in your area
- Host a Cleanup that is open to the public
- Download our Fireworks Cleanup Activity via the button below
Follow the City of Omaha Ordinance for discharging fireworks:
Consumer fireworks can be discharged in Omaha from July 2 through July 4, between 12 noon to 11 p.m. on those days, and from 5:00 p.m. on December 31 through 1:00 a.m. on January 1. (City Ordinance 20-320)
Persons discharging fireworks must be 16 years old or older. Those between the ages of 12 and 16 can discharge fireworks only under direct supervision of someone 19 years old or older.
Find fireworks safety information at these sites: