The proper way to dispose of a butane lighter

Updated July 05, 2018

Many lighters contain butane. This form of gas eventually runs out, causing the lighter to stop working. Tossing the butane lighter in the trash is not a responsible way to dispose of the lighter, as there likely are traces of butane remaining inside that can leak out. According to Environment Canada, butane is not only known to cause cancer, but it is also dangerous to the environment because it causes the formation of ground level ozone, which can harm vegetation.

Place your empty butane lighter in a plastic zipper bag. This will keep any butane from leaking out before you have a chance to dispose of it.

Contact your local waste management agency to find out the current procedure for disposing of butane lighters. This step is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. Some local waste management facilities will allow you to drop the butane lighter off during business hours, while others request you only bring them in on certain drop-off days.

Keep your butane lighter in the plastic zipper bag in a cool, dry place away from any heat or flames until you are ready to take your butane lighter over to the waste management facility.


Never combine hazardous household waste products. Keep them separated and bring them to your local waste management facility.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic zipper bag
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About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.