I don't venture onto this bit of PF, very often but I thought that someone might have some information on this subject. Out of date distress flares are an embarrassment to sailors. Local waste disposal services don't handle them and even most Coastguards won't touch them. It is sometimes possible to insist that the supplier of new ones (chandlery shop) gets rid of your old ones but that isn't always convenient and neither is a 50mile round trip to a depot which will accept them. You are not!!!! allowed to ignite them in any non-emergency and even Guy Fawke's night is a no no. My idea would be to puncture them under water with a very slow speed cutter - say a hacksaw or hand drill. After a few weeks, would not any explosive materials have dissolved away, allowing them to be split open and put in the dustbin? I know they work underwater, once they have been ignited but it would be a different matter if they were already soaked. In fact, why do they not have a removable strip which could expose the pyrotechnic chemicals to water. My question is whether this could be a way forward - which would depend upon the sort of chemicals likely to be used. I would not imagine that there would be anything likely to react with water because there is always a risk of their being dropped or left in water by mistake and we wouldn't want one to go off under those circs. What's in them? I don't think I am going against PF policy here as I am only interested in a 'safe' solution.