How to properly dispose of small propane tanks
Smaller propane tanks used with gas grills are well-constructed and designed to last for years. But heavy-duty use can sometimes be accompanied by dents and dings. One often overlooked fact is that propane tanks also need to be recertified 12 years after the manufacture date found on the tank's collar. It's easy to be confused about both when and how to address tank damage and recertification. Read on to learn what to do if you encounter a similar situation.
When it comes to recertification, if your propane grill tank is no longer certified by your propane provider or the U.S. Department of Transportation, a solid first step is to find out if it's acceptable for exchange with Blue Rhino. If a grill cylinder is too damaged and unable to be repaired, then it'll need to be disposed of. Unsure if your tank needs recertification? If so, check out this video.
If all signs point toward having to get rid of your small propane tank, you might wonder, "How do I dispose of my small propane tank?" In any case, it’s important to note that it’s never OK to put propane tanks of any kind in garbage bins for curbside trash or recycle services. This is a fire hazard as there’s a chance the slightest amount of propane released could cause a fire.
Disposing of a grill tank or any other small propane tanks
You can either purchase an exchange at one of our thousands of retail providers or, if not looking for another grill tank, simply write "recycle" on it and place it next to a Blue Rhino retailer’s propane tank cage. Our friends at Blue Rhino will take care of it for you. Please note that Blue Rhino will not accept damaged propane tanks. If a Ferrellgas location is more convenient for you, contact us or stop by during business hours. Your friendly propane professionals will take care of this free of charge.
There are external options too, however, quite limited. Many landfills, recycling centers, and scrap metal dealers will not accept grill tanks or other small propane tanks. Some hazardous waste disposal sites or local public works departments may take your tanks, while others recommend calling a propane supplier.
So, to recap, if wanting to dispose of a small propane tank consider these options:
- Refill or exchange your wanted tank. If you choose to refill, your tank cannot be expired
- Drop off any unwanted tank you no longer need at a Blue Rhino reseller location
- Call your local Ferrellgas office
- Call a hazardous waste disposal site
- Call your local public works department
If you believe your small propane tank has more life left, you can reach out to your propane supplier and seek recertification. In the United States, small propane tanks are qualified for 12 years from the date of manufacture (it’s good for 10 years in Canada).
If still in good condition, small propane tanks can be recertified for either 5, 7, or 12 years, depending on the recertification method used. Uncertain if your tank qualifies? Read this blog for assistance.
Define ‘small propane tank’
Small propane tanks range from a one-pound cylinder to a 20-pound gas grill cylinder. While these valuable propane tanks have a shelf life of a one day they will be either too damaged or simply out of date.
Larger propane tanks should be handled by a propane retailer such as Ferrellgas. We have the trained staff and proper tools to remove the tank safely and efficiently.
For more information regarding tank sizes, check out this Tank Talk blog: Understanding the various propane tank sizes.
What should I do with my used camping propane tank?
One-pound propane grill tanks are typically used for camping and other outdoor activities. This one pound “disposable” propane tank is often littered at parks or camping grounds.
This, however, is highly discouraged. Even though it’s a small amount of propane, it still can cause a fire if tossed in the trash or left behind at a campsite. Even more, campgrounds are charged a pretty penny when they must dispose of these small propane tank items.
To get rid of your camping propane tank, get in touch with Ferrellgas or waste disposal site or your local public works department.