Laughing gas as a party drug: legal, but risky

In the party streets of Alt-Sachsenhausen and in the train station district, strange remnants of wild nights are increasingly found: balloons and cream chargers. In the recent past, the Frankfurter Entsorgungs- und Service GmbH (FES) had little to laugh about in view of these LPG containers lying around. Quite the opposite of those who caused the waste: people who misuse the nitrous oxide – common name laughing gas – from the cartridges for intoxicating purposes. FES spokesman Stefan Röttele reports that the employees have collected around 300 of the metal capsules in the past six months. He assumes that nitrous oxide consumption will increase in Frankfurt, because “as disposal companies, we are always the mirror of consumption. Everything ends up with us in the end.”

So far, hundreds of cartridges have been collected at the disposal company, as it is not yet clear what to do with the hazardous waste. The laughing gas, especially from the slightly larger containers, acts like a fire accelerator in a waste-to-energy plant, says Röttele. Conventional disposal can therefore be ruled out. It is not yet clear whether the leftovers will be recycled and returned to the manufacturer via the take-back system or should be destroyed in the costly incineration of special waste.

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