As a general rule, you should never throw your tiny green propane tanks in household garbage or recycling containers for normal roadside pick-up! Authorities in most territories do not allow you to recycle propane tanks, even the smallest campsite-style canisters, in carts or curbside bins.
But do not fret if disposal time is near- read on to learn how to dispose of small green propane tanks. In truth, you have several options at your disposal when it comes to getting rid of your out-of-service propane tank properly in most municipalities and localities.
Here is how to get rid of small propane tanks safely and in compliance with local regulations and environmental laws:
How to dispose of small green propane tanks – Recommended methods and what you need to know
In a nutshell, there are three solutions you can take up when disposing of your stock of small, green propane tanks that are damaged or unserviceable:
Method 1: Disposal via a propane supplier in your area.
Method 2: Get help from your local household hazardous garbage collection company.
Method 3: Do it yourself disposal (dump it with regular household trash to wait for the next trash collection day)- allowed by selected municipalities and counties.
Method 1: Disposal via a propane supplier
Before all else, you must contact your nearest propane supplier- some gas stations and retailers who sell and/or refill propane cylinders that accept expired tanks- to inform them you want their help.
The first step is verifying that they accept small green propane tanks as part of their waste management program. Ask for the specific details if you get a positive response and proceed to do as advised.
Be sure to ask questions where unsure – they will point you in the right direction throughout the process.
Overall, this is perhaps the easiest way to part ways with the unwanted tank.
Method 2: Get help from your local household hazardous garbage collection company
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for propane sellers all over the United States (and in countless other areas) to reject smaller canisters.
The good news is that some hazardous waste collection companies will happily accept your unused propane tank and dispose of it- they may pick it up at no cost (to you) and do the hard work for you.
If it’s you to transport the propane bottle, safety can be an issue so put into action the precautions you have been instructed to by the company. For example, the company may request you to take some preliminary steps- in the majority of cases, and reputable waste organizations will ask you to empty the tank off completely before delivery.
It’s worth mentioning that sometimes you may be required to call ahead- that way, the company can know you’re on the way and put all the necessary logistics in place.
What if facilities won’t take small propane tanks at all?
Now, depending on where you’re camping or live, it may turn out that no hazardous waste collection facility will accept the ‘baby’ propane canister you want to discard.
Well, don’t panic…
Some counties take these little canisters during their regular hazardous waste disposal days, and all you need to do is drop them off at the nearest drop-off hazardous waste facility- the council will take care of the rest. For example, Ingham County accepts these smaller canisters at their disposal events at various locations.
Keep in mind that counties may put some conditions.
Take, for example, Westchester County.
Here residents should ensure that there’s no residual gas in their 1 or 2-pound green propane tank before drop-off.
Likewise, in Ontario, owners should drop off the tanks at special waste collections and never put them in mixed recycling bins.
To cut the long story short, go online and check for a schedule of upcoming collection events -for hazardous waste- on your county’s website if you have an unused small propane tank that’s bothering you.
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Method 3: Do it yourself disposal
Here you dump it with regular household trash to wait for the next trash collection day, and it is an alternative if there is no suitable small propane tank cylinder recycling program where you reside.
As mentioned, this is only permitted by selected municipalities – the majority outlaw it- so you should start by confirming if it’s legal in your area.
To ensure the correct handling and eventual disposal of these hazardous tanks, counties usually contract licensed hazardous waste disposal companies to oversee their collection, discarding, and other harmful household litter.
How to dispose of small propane tanks for grills
The procedure is nearly the same as with other small tanks:
Simply dispose of it in the garbage (if permitted) or during hazardous waste collection events (according to county laws) or even bring it to a public household hazardous garbage acceptance site near you.
Remember to burn off any remaining gas through normal use of your grill prior to this.
Quick Tip: For the most part, regulations order you not to mix your mini BBQ tank with plastic, glass, or metal recyclables- the risk of explosion is too high.
The final remedy is getting assistance from a local propane supplier.
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Again as with other small non-refillable propane bottles, you can dispense with your used propane torch cylinder in different ways:
By turning it into a recycling center, during a hazardous waste disposal event, or as a last resort, by throwing it into the correct trash bin.
Of course, there’s no one size fits all and the right method is determined by your local regulations.
Since less waste is, without question, a good thing, follow the above steps to get rid of those old green canisters correctly and safely.
The most important thing is to be sure you’re on the safe side of the environmental regulations– they vary significantly between territories, so start by checking what your local laws say.
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