Disposal of propane gas tanks

Written by cameron easey
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Disposal of propane gas tanks
Used propane gas tanks need ot be disposed of properly (Propane Tank image by John Walsh from Fotolia.com)

Propane gas tanks used with a gas grill can get old and rust or the gas valve can stop working correctly. When this happens you will need to get a new tank. Propane tanks that are empty can still have traces of gas which can make disposal of the old tank difficult. Learn how to dispose of the tank properly for the sake of safety and the environment.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open the valve on the tank and attempt to light the grill, if the tank is still connected. This will make sure that all of the gas has been used in the tank.

  2. 2

    Take the old tank to a tank supplier, such as Home Depot or Lowe's or your local petrol station. Many tank suppliers will allow you to trade in your old tank when purchasing a new one--the cost for a new tank is often significantly less when you turn in an empty tank.

  3. 3

    Check with the local municipality or city to see if there are any local collection or household hazardous waste programs available for old propane tanks.

  4. 4

    Contact a local scrap metal yard and see if they take old propane tanks. According to Earth 911, you should remember to bring the valve with you as the brass it is made of is more valuable than the steel.

  5. 5

    Dispose of small 465gr. propane tanks, such as those used for camp stoves, in your household trash. According to Coleman, you must first make sure the tank is entirely empty by running the appliance to which it is attached until the flame goes out. After the tank cools, it can be safely thrown away.

Tips and warnings

  • Give your old propane tank to a neighbour or friend that could use a spare tank.
  • Do not put a propane tank that still contains gas into the trash.
  • Do not open the valve, with the tank disconnected, to release the gas because it can be hazardous and dangerous.
  • Earth 911 advises that you may have to prove it is empty by punching a hole in the tank or even cutting the tank in half before a recycler will accept the tank.

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