Proper propane tank disposal is something every propane user should be familiar with. If a tank is still serviceable, you may be able to recycle the propane tank — sometimes for money. At some point, however, every propane tank, cylinder, or bottle will reach the end of its useful life. Smaller, portable propane containers, such as cylinders and bottles, usually reach this point sooner than stationary bulk tanks. So, what are your options when it comes to disposing of a propane tank?

How to Recycle Propane Tanks

If you need more propane, for grilling or other uses, you can typically have your tank refilled. If you don’t need your tank any longer, the best thing you can do with a tank that’s still serviceable is to recycle it. Because there’s a possibility of propane remaining in the tank, many recyclers, such as municipal refuse centers, will not accept propane tanks, bottles, and cylinders for recycling. However, a local propane supplier should be able to direct you to a specialized recycler, who can accept your tank.

Another good reason to choose a recycler that specializes in propane tanks is safety. To recycle a tank, it must be serviceable and able to meet all safety requirements, because it will be refilled and reused again and again.

So, before you dispose of your propane tank, consider your options for recycling:

  • Refill/Reuse your tank.
  • Call a local propane supplier about recycling your tank.
  • Talk to your local hazardous waste disposal site about taking the tank.
  • Contact your local public works department about recycling your tank.

Disposing of a propane tank

Where do you dispose of a propane tank if it’s damaged or old and no longer serviceable, and recycling is not a possibility? There are several options available to you for proper propane tank disposal. For a large, bulk propane tank, contact a licensed propane company, such as your propane supplier, for removal. They’ll be able to safely purge any remaining propane from the tank. They’ll also have the specialized tools to remove the tank safely. To dispose of smaller tanks that are damaged or unserviceable, contact a propane supplier, or your local household hazardous waste collection site.

Some municipalities or local regulations may allow for disposal of empty propane tanks, propane cylinders, and propane bottles with your regular household trash. Usually, they suggest emptying the tank, removing the regulator, then puncturing the tank so it can’t be re-pressurized. This can be dangerous, and is best left to professionals.