Propane tanks that no longer support a flame still contain enough flammable gas to cause an explosion, so you must be very careful with them. Never throw away or attempt to puncture a propane tank or other compressed gas cylinders.
This concern applies to both types of propane tanks:
- Refillable tanks commonly used to run backyard grills
- Non-refillable tanks designed for use with camping stoves, lamps and torches
Recycling & Disposal Information:
Use up all fuel before disposing of your tank to reduce chances of an explosion. When further use isn't possible, there are safe means to dispose of empty tanks:
- Call the retailer where you purchased your propane tank and inquire about "take back" and recycling options.
- All county household hazardous waste drop-off sites accept propane tanks and pressurized cylinders for free.
Use refillable propane tanks whenever possible.
Always store and use propane tanks according to directions. This will help prevent injury while protecting your property, your investment and the environment.
The National Fire Protection Association safety code for propane tanks (NFPA 58) requires tanks with a capacity of 4 to 40 pounds that were manufactured after Sept.30, 1998 to have an OPD (Overfilling Protection Device) valve. This includes the 20 pound propane tank used in full-size barbecue grills. Refilling is illegal if the OPD valve is missing.
Ask your retailer if your older tank can be retrofitted with an OPD valve instead of disposing of it.