What to Do With Your Empty Propane Tank

What to Do With Your Empty Propane Tank
Photo: Charles Knowles, Shutterstock

If you have a grill that runs on propane, there will come a time when you need to deal with the empty tank. Depending on how old the tank is, there are a number of options available to you, from refilling or recycling to disposing of it entirely.

Since propane is a hazardous substance, highly flammable, and capable of causing issues like suffocation, cardiac arrest, and seizures if a person is exposed to high concentrations, it’s especially important to know safe handling and disposal procedures. The tanks are also an explosion hazard, due to the contents being flammable and stored under high pressure.

How to recycle a propane tank

A propane tank can last up to twenty years. If you have an empty tank, but are in need of more propane, the simplest answer is to take it to your nearest propane supplier to have it refilled. If you aren’t in need of more propane, you can also talk to your local propane supplier for recommendations about recycling the tank.

Most municipal recycling or waste centres will not accept propane tanks, due to the risk of leftover propane, but your supplier may have advice.

How to dispose of a propane tank

If your propane tank has reached the end of its life and needs to be disposed of, you need to call your local propane supplier about disposal. You can also contact your nearest hazardous waste centre about taking the tank.

What you absolutely do not want to do is put the propane tank into the trash. Not only will most waste programs not accept them, there’s also the risk of leftover propane causing health and safety issues, including property damage or personal injuries.

How to store an empty propane tank

If you have a clean, empty tank, it can be safely stored on your property. To do so, you need to follow some safety guidelines. This includes not storing it indoors, where residual gas could leak; storing it at a proper temperature, which should not go below 4°C or above 45°C; keeping the gas valve closed and storing it in an upright position to avoid any possible leaks; and keeping it away from anything flammable.

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