How to dispose of lighters

Written by jonathan shaffer | 13/05/2017
How to dispose of lighters
Most cigarette lighters have a child-safety mechanism. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Most cigarette lighters contain a chamber filled with butane gas that is ignited by a spark created by rolling the lighter wheel over a piece of flint, or sometimes by an electric mechanism. Some lighters are refillable, others are not refillable and must be disposed of when empty. The best, and safest way, to dispose of a used lighter depends on whether it still contains any gas or not.

Dispose of an empty cigarette lighter in your regular dustbin. If the fuel tank of the lighter is empty, it is incapable of starting a fire.

Dispose of full or partially full lighters at your local hazardous waste department. You can search your phone book or the Internet to find the phone number and address for your waste management department. These facilities are equipped to take in disposables that are flammable or dangerous.

Drain a lighter before throwing it away. To do this safely, hold down the fuel-release button outdoors to drain the butane from a disposable lighter before safely throwing it in the trash.


Lighters should only be handled by adults or under adult supervision.

Tips and warnings

  • Lighters should only be handled by adults or under adult supervision.

Things you need

  • Trash bag

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